From Convergence, Community: Humaniti Montréal, Montréal
Session: F: Best Tall Building Award By Function: Mixed Use, Part 1
President and Chief Executive Officer at Cogir, Lemay
Senior Partner & Chief Design Officer, Lemay
Humaniti is located at the convergence of three districts—the Quartier des spectacles, the Quartier international, and Old Montréal. The surrounding urban fabric still retains traces of both its residential and its industrial past lives. The Place Jean-Paul Riopelle public square and several heritage-classified buildings are close to the site.
The project is composed of three distinctive elements: the office volume, the hotel volume, and the residential tower. A challenge existed in incorporating all these elements, while still finding opportunities to create spatial moments upward and inward, giving the experience of different scales of porosity. Ultimately, allowing the building to respond to the different scales and limitations of the urban context while maintaining the public and private realms in close proximity became one of the drivers for the project design.
The form is likewise defined by three elements. The “Crust” defines the continuous surface framing the most intimate spaces. It embraces the public plaza as a ground treatment, stretching into the hotel and boutiques; the restaurant and residences’ ceiling and soffit; and upward onto the façade. On the larger of the two towers, the “Hive” is an architectural gesture reinforcing the vertical city concept. Its human scale and well-defined groupings of condos and apartments evoke a smaller, community feel while accommodating hundreds of dwellings. Many units share balconies, promoting interaction and dialogue. The “Blades” combine polished granite and tinted vision panels with reflective-transparent vision glass. These elements define the urban elevation facing the old city, with three blade-like elements floating above pedestrian level. The tallest blade, with its truncated shape, is a homage to Manhattan’s Flatiron Building; the second blade is intended to look like it splits off and falls from the monolith.