RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF WESTMOUNT SQUARE – A SYMBOL OF MONTREAL’S ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE – A UNIT HAS BEEN COMPLETELY REDESIGNED WITH ITS ORIGINAL IDENTITY IN MIND. THIS IS A STORY INVOLVING DESIGNERS ALAIN DESGAGNÉ, GERVAIS FORTIN AND A MONUMENTAL BLACK BACKDROP.
German-American architect, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, designed Westmount Square, and it was inaugurated in 1967. The three towers are unique, and distinguished by black anodized aluminum siding and panoramic windows. This unusual ensemble, is, to this day, considered a masterpiece for Montreal. The Square combines apartments, upscale boutiques as well as health and beauty services. “Our client was seduced by a 2,000 sq.ft. apartment. He left nothing inside—it was taken right down to the concrete,” explains Gervais Fortin. “It was essential to respect van der Rohe’s style and rules,” adds Alain Desgagné. They both made interesting discoveries while stripping the rooms—one of them being a coffered ceiling that they restored by creating identical moulds. This imprint of the past demonstrates just how strong and special this apartment is.
Black is carried throughout the unit, echoing the exterior siding of the building. From matte to shiny, from floor to ceiling, including storage modules that act as a partition. Mirrored doors reflect the light and give a great sense of immensity. To soothe the atmosphere, a dark grey, satin finish porcelain floor was installed, along with a simple, yet extraordinary charcoal dining table. This noble and refined interior is greatly accessorized with art, and a remarkable chandelier. The flowing, contemporary lines of furniture reminiscent of the 1970s complete the space.
“Alain Desgagné and Gervais Fortin were on the same page and they successfully respected the exterior architecture by transposing it into the interior”
It was important not to subdivide the spaces. “The kitchen was designed with that in mind. It blends with the rest, like integrated furniture,” says Desgagné. Everything was designed and executed to contribute to this homogeneity—the absence of handles, the anthracite satin lacquer facades, the frosted granite counter tops and backsplash.
The coffered ceiling offers continuity in the bedroom, where the floor space appears to be doubled thanks to the mirrored doors. In the bedroom—as in all the other rooms—the recessed light fixtures magnify the space without encumbering it. “Having the right light is essential, especially in a dark environment,” says Gervais Fortin, who also had the great idea of placing LED banners in strategic spots, such as in the back of the curtains.
“Alain Desgagné and Gervais Fortin were on the same page and they successfully respected the exterior architecture by transposing it into the interior,” says the owner, who is still fascinated by the building, even if it is more than 50 years old. “They dared dark shades, while playing with lighting and reflection to take advantage of the view. The atmosphere is very pleasant and I feel relaxed every time I come in,” specifying that prime location is another undeniable asset.