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Montauk Sofa: A Trailblazing Concept

The new Montauk Sofa store at 3553 Saint-Laurent boulevard in Montréal, which recently won the architecture award of excellence in the commercial/industrial building category, features a front walk that meanders through a restorative garden—a novel design in the plateau that may well inspire others.

Tim Zyto, president of Montauk Sofa, strives for authenticity, timelessness, and comfort in everything he designs and creates. Although the style of the company’s new store naturally follows this guiding principle, customers must first pass through an unconventional entryway that is a veritable oasis in the heart of the city. Awakening a sense of incredible calm and spontaneous well-being, the path to the front door winds through lush plants and tall trees. “When we purchased the building, I noticed it was built in three separate parts. This meant I could remove the roof of the first section to create a space filled with plants, even though this would reduce the store area,” explains Zyto. He asked Myke Hodgins of HETA, Hodgins & associés architectes paysagistes, to take on the landscaping challenge. In the end, the project took quite a long time to complete, because it was a first for the neighbourhood. “The concept was really inspired by Tim’s passion for urban gardens,” notes Montauk co-founder and designer Danny Chartier.

Danny Chartier and Tim Zyto at new Montauk Montreal store pre renovation
Design Louis George
The brushed concrete walls bring warm texture to each space.

The facade of the store proper, an immense four-storey wall of glass, rises at the end of the walkway. Conceived by Zyto and Chartier and executed by Steve Cohlmeyer of Cohlmeyer Architecture, the architectural design immediately stands out for its ceilings. Slightly lower at the front of the building, the ceiling level seems to rise steadily and a series of beams creates an airy atmosphere with an aerodynamic effect. The result is quite stimulating, as everyone who enters the store comes up with a different image, from an airplane to waves. Painted white to underscore the feeling of lightness, the beams follow the monochrome palette of the space, which has brushed concrete walls. The minimalist structure of the volumes spotlights the brand’s furniture, and store visitors are treated to a relaxing experience from one floor to the next.

Looking at the finished product, from peaceful garden to lightfilled yet understated interior, it is hard to believe that the building underwent major renovations, including the basement, whose ceiling was only six feet high. “We had to dig down to create more height,” explains Zyto.

Each floor looks out over the 1,200-square-foot garden, which, like the store, is nestled between two buildings. A small bridge leads to the front door.
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Noteworthy for its enclave of greenery on this commercial street, the new Montauk Sofa store piques the curiosity of many passersby, some of whom end up lingering there. A neighbourhood resident, who delights in seeing the garden every day, even thanked Zyto for creating it.

Photos Nanne Springer


The discreet, monochrome architecture accentuates the Montauk Sofa furniture, even in the evening, thanks to adjustable spotlights.
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