Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Authentic Lofts, Urban Condos Le Nordelec in Montréal, Canada by HUMÀ design
November 10th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: HUMÀ design
As advertised through a marketing campaign that is the talk of the town, Elad Canada, partnered with Groupe IBI-CHBA architectes and HUMÀ design, has inaugurated the majestic conversion of the historic Nordelec building into a residential development of 1,000 urban condos. “With its new units alongside the existing 680,000 square feet of office and retail space that will occupy the ground floor, the Nordelec building will become a hub of exceptional commercial and residential activity, a true city within the city,” predicted Aurèle Cardinal, president of Groupe IBI-CHBA architectes.
Some 40 metres in height, the former Northern Electric factory, built in 1913, is one of the most imposing heritage brick buildings in North America. The conversion of the top three floors of the existing wings to a residential vocation, as well as the extension of the wings, has preserved the original spirit of this unique industrial heritage, through both its geometry and the use of recycled original materials.
The architects capitalized on the existing 14-foot ceilings and generous fenestration to design open, light-filled apartments. They took advantage of the courtyards created when the Nordelec building’s wings were built to create spectacular roof gardens spanned by restored original walkways. The materials (brick and copper in the interior) and the artefacts recycled from the old factory pay tribute to the Nordelec building’s prestigious past. Nevertheless, the architects made these old industrial spaces accessible to their new residential function by bringing their dimensions to a human scale through skilful graphical treatment of the space.
A hub of urban development
Dominating the urban landscape of southwest Montreal, the Nordelec is a beacon of the renaissance of a neighbourhood. With the urban revitalization along the Lachine Canal and the Peel Basin, as well as saturation of the real-estate market in the Plateau Mont-Royal, downtown, and the Cité du Multimédia, the Southwest borough is becoming a choice sector for the installation of dynamic businesses and the construction of residential projects.
Since the turn of the twenty-first century, the Nordelec has come to stand out as a crossroads of creativity, hosting hundreds of ad agencies, communications companies, production houses, and photography and design studios. The conversion project also includes transformation of the building’s ground floor into a 70,000-square-foot shopping area featuring artists’ studios, short-term boutiques selling limited-edition items, and temporary showcases of major brands. And, with access to exceptional facilities created in the building (urban lounge, bar, movie theatre, reception hall, games room, barbecue areas, and swimming pool on the roof terrace giving a breathtaking view of Montreal), residents of the Nordelec will be at the heart of an extraordinary development hub, a true city within the city.
Nests for rare birds
Representing a living memory of Montreal’s industrial past and a perfect spot from which to witness the spectacular redevelopment of southwest Montreal, the Nordelec apartments are designed as vast living spaces that dialogue with the city. Kitchen, living room, and dining room are united as spaces for socialization and offer extraordinary views of the city through exceptionally large windows.
Like the graphic treatment of the common areas, the interiors of the units play on contrast to bring the materials to life: the warmth of wood floors versus the sheen of the thermoplastic kitchen appliances; the opacity of the quartz or granite counters versus the byzantine motifs that dance on the kitchen backsplashes. In this graphic spirit, the kitchen and bathroom appliances have been imagined as monolithic objects that seem to merge with the walls, ceiling, and floors of the apartments.
A well-feathered marketing campaign!
To announce the hatching of a residential complex that’s one-of-a-kind (as evidence of Montreal’s glorious past, facet of the city’s urban redevelopment, and for the quality of its architecture and interior spaces), Elad Canada chose a unique marketing approach, orchestrated by the Imagine agency.
Rather than emphasize the quality of the services offered, as is standard in the industry, the Nordelec marketing campaign highlights the lifestyle that the building offers, playing on the idea of “rare birds” that find their “nest” there. Living at the Nordelec becomes almost a political act. It means being at the heart of intense human activity, authentic and wholesome, living alongside the city’s creative people, with easy access to public and alterative transportation, having a wide variety of retailers within easy reach, and belonging to a community within the building itself.
Sales of Nordelec units will be handled by an exclusive team at McGill Immobilier, an agency specializing in the sales and marketing of real-estate projects.
About Elad Canada
Elad Canada is a leader in avant-garde real-estate development, with projects that create new communities appreciated by investors. Among its condo projects, Le Nordelec, adjacent to the historic Lachine Canal in Montreal, is on its way to becoming the vibrant crossroads for an entire commmunity with its shops and public market at its foot. Also in Montreal and currently under development is the multi-phase Cité Nature designed to be seamlessly integrated with the Olympic Village and the natural vista of neighbouring Parc Maisonneuve.
About Groupe IBI-CHBA architectes
A major Quebec architectural firm, Montreal’s Groupe IBI-CHBA architectes (formerly Cardinal Hardy architectes) brings sites to life through architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design. The firm has designed more than 10,000 housing units. Very active in the Southwest borough of Montreal, whose cityscape it is redesigning, Groupe IBI-CHBA architectes has designed residential projects including Le Nordelec, La Redpath, and Les Bassins du Havre.
About HUMÀ design
The unbridled creativity of this young Montreal architecture and design firm is expressed through projects ranging from the very psychedelic Revolution Lounge in Las Vegas to brilliant conversions of former industrial buildings into housing (La Fabrique 125, La Redpath, and others), as well as interior design of numerous real-estate projects (Including Les Bassins du Havre, U31, MÀ Condos, and Lumière).
Contact HUMÀ design