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The Four Seasons Hotel Montreal unveiled

Georgina Johnston
06 Feb 2020

Lemay and Sid Lee Architecture’s Canadian building combines classic elegance and contemporary style

At the heart of Montreal’s iconic Golden Square Mile, against the backdrop of Mount Royal, lies the Four Seasons Hotel Montreal. With a total surface area of 35,000m², the 18 storey multifunctional building includes a 169 room hotel, 18 private residences and 3,250 m² of commercial spaces. 

Designed by Lemay and Sid Lee Architecture, the Four Seasons Hotel Montreal building stands out with its streamlined, uniquely off set volumes and richly textured accents that embody the luxury and refinement of the world famous hotel banner. Its interiors and exteriors are also carefully integrated with the historic Holt Renfrew Ogilvy complex. 

 Upon entering, visitors are greeted with a spectacular 5.5m high lobby, which extends into the adjoining commercial spaces, creating a distinctive overall experience for the hotel's residents and guests.

 At the heart of the building, an immense atrium is open to residents and hotel guests, who can appreciate Pascale Girardin's majestic artistic installation, Contemplation. The atrium’s reflective walls ensure privacy as their mirroring effect magnifies the work of the art’s depth, generating an infinite indoor landscape. 

The lower floors respect the pedestrian scale and link the project to its streetscape, as the remaining three facades integrate on an urban scale with Sainte Catherine and Crescent Streets and De Maisonneuve Blvd. 

The overriding importance of integrating the building with its environment is reflected in several ways, sometimes assertive, sometimes subtle, and gives the project its relevance and longevity. The architecture draws its source from the spirit of place, its history, its community, to ultimately enhance the cityscape. 

E. Pelletier, architect, senior partner and design principal at Lemay.

The building's angles define its hospitality, residential and commercial vocations. The first floors are topped by an imposing 500 guest ballroom with a massive terrasse that offers magnificent views of the Leonard Cohen mural and Mount Royal.  

At the tallest part of the building, as of the 14th floor, the facade extends outwards. Crowning the entire building, this overhanging volume is dedicated to prestigious private residences and their spacious terraces offering breathtaking river, mountain and skyline views. 

Boldly swathed in black, the tower captures light differently on each floor and interacts with Montreal's ever changing character. The effect is accentuated by each façade’s golden bas-relief dividing the main volume according to its interior functions. This golden rift changes the aspect of the building; it emerges through the volume, folds inwards and spreads vertically by creating a thin blade in the centre of the building.

The main challenge of the project was to create a space that could properly host such an iconic brand and seamlessly embody its values and ambitions at all levels. The building offers a strong presence in its neighborhood with a volume that reflects the different scales of the surrounding buildings, complemented by a series of insertions, a sought-after materiality and refined details. 

M. Leblanc, architect, partner at Sid Lee Architecture.

The exterior envelope is a glass curtain wall whose opaque elements have been reduced to a minimum. Every component has been carefully considered to enable maximum fenestration; at nightfall, the dark colour of the glass lays a delicate veil over the interior spaces and creates a subdued appearance. 

The envelope’s materials also contribute to the project quality. The glass walls’ fine and precise assembly gives rise to an ethereal and almost immaterial impression. The granite of the side facades reflects the rhythm of the glass panels while its varying textures come to life under the influence of ambient light. Stately and meticulously sculpted, timeless and modern, the new complex personifies quality and style in the exhilarating, cosmopolitan city that is Montreal. 

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