Subject: Architectural Lighting
Year of realization: 2008
After the largest department store in downtown Montreal was acquired by the Ivanhoe Cambridge development company in 1999, the redesigns incorporated newer designs and additional lighting.
The former department store is now a multitenant building, anchored by Montreal’s most energetic retailer, Les Ailes de la Mode (literally: “The Wings of Fashion”). Inside it feels light years away from anything resembling the former store. “We carved out the inside of the building”, says the architect of the project Louis Lemay. “We needed a grand entrance, so we created a three-story corridor from Ste.
Catherine Street. Then we made a central atrium through the whole height of the structure to form a real heart for the project.” Entering the space really is a grand architectural experience. You walk around the 30 foot high show window of the Les Ailes de la Mode into a vast, glittering hall. Its support columns are a line with fluorescent tubes sheathed in Lexan® Polycarbonate lighting panels so that the glass and stainless steel balconies seem to float on shafts of light. The panels, produced by Plastifab Industries, Saint Laurent, Canada, are fully operable allowing for maintenance and are protective of the lighting system due to polycarbonate’s toughness. The custom lighting color allows for diffused and soft lighting effects.