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Revival of the Casino of Montréal / Menkès Shooner Dagenais Le Tourneux Architectes + Provencher Roy + Associés Architectes

Revival of the Casino of Montréal / Menkès Shooner Dagenais Le Tourneux Architectes + Provencher Roy + Associés Architectes
© Stéphane Groleau
© Stéphane Groleau

© Stéphane Groleau© Stéphane Groleau© Stéphane Groleau© Marc Cramer+ 25

Montreal, Canada
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© Stéphane Groleau
© Stéphane Groleau

Text description provided by the architects. Exceptional fact, the Casino's redesign will have led to the development of a real creative laboratory, with its own research and development budget. "The Casino was an unparalleled site of experimentation. With the help of local artisans, all the work on the space and material will have enabled us to assert the building's unique and singular character even more," confirms Jean-Pierre LeTourneux, Founding partner at Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux Architectes.

© Stéphane Groleau
© Stéphane Groleau

Simplifying indoor circulations and spaces. The current project will complete the work that began in 1993, during the first stage of renovations that breathed new life in the former France pavilion of the 1967 World Exposition. The design and renovations were completed in a record time of 10 months. Following its immediate success, the following and limited enlargements were undertaken for the first time in 1994, and a second time in 1996, in the building that housed the former Quebec Pavilion.

© Stéphane Groleau
© Stéphane Groleau

The new phase of renovations enabled a comprehensive review of the circulations and resolved some functional problems at the same time.

© Marc Cramer
© Marc Cramer

The architects simplified the space by focusing it around a circular hub across four levels, where the recreational areas come together (bars and lounges). The gambling areas are located around the vertical column lit by a big mesh of aluminum slats, with panoramic elevators on the south side and a staircase on the north side. The 5th floor encompasses the restaurant service, with two fast food counters (Asian and Western), a buffet, and an à la carte restaurant. 

© Marc Cramer
© Marc Cramer

To preserve the unity of the gambling area, the former administrative offices have been relocated outside the building. The multiple previous accesses have given way to a single majestic entrance, covering the reception, cloakroom, and security areas. Outside, the designers streamlined automobile and pedestrian traffic that now converge to a single entry point. A strong identity. Setting up a strong identity was critical from the early stages of the project. For Yves Dagenais, Founding Partner of Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux Architectes, it was a question of finding, in collaboration with the marketing team, the Casino's true strength of the tone, with regard not only to its position in the city but with its clientele as well. The current renovation project provides the interior space with its own personality, defined by a gaming, light, and Montreal spirit theme. Each of the four gambling floors is identified by a playing card color with the designs discreetly displayed in the perforated aluminum panels on the walls. By the same token, huge mannequins portray the effigy of a card figure (Queen of Hearts, the Joker...) that greets the visitors at the entrance of every recreational zone. Oversized tokens are hung or drawn on the ground to enhance the symbol of the game.

Plan
Plan

Light is omnipresent and is projected by the many lights as well as filtered through the backlit walls. It benefits from the permeability of the space, like the immense open palisade made of laser chiseled chrome pipes that separate the gambling areas from the recreational areas. 

© Marc Cramer
© Marc Cramer

In turn, Montreal’s spirit is conveyed on a monumental media screen, designed by the architects and programmed by the firm Moment Factory. It spans over five floors in the middle of the building and is transformed into a permanent multimedia presentation zone. The Casino thus becomes a space to share Montreal's culture and creativity.

© Marc Cramer
© Marc Cramer
© Marc Cramer
© Marc Cramer

A creative laboratory. A rare occurrence for this type of project, the Casino's redevelopment was transformed into a true experimental laboratory. A special research and development budget was planned to develop and test new materials, structures, and lighting. This creativity led to a change in the traditional perception of the space's functionality. The walls became signs, ambient lighting, and visual identity support.

Plan
Plan

The interior design team at Moureaux Hauspy, part of Provencher_Roy, collaborated on the interior redesign of the whole project, including the entrances, gambling areas, common areas, and the VIP zone. It appointed the firm Blazysgerard to work on redesigning the restaurants on Level 5. Respect for visitors and the historic site. Despite the duration and the extent of the work, the operational flexibility of the teams involved in this project will have allowed the Casino to continue its operations without causing major interruptions or inconveniences to the clientele.

© Marc Cramer
© Marc Cramer

Moreover, the architects minimized the impact of their intervention on Expo 67's historical site and respected the identity of the former French pavilion. For example, they used the same original architectural language to redesign the new main entrance. Plus, the new galleries housing the administrative offices were placed in new landscaping that honors Expo 67's former basins and watersheds. 

© Marc Cramer
© Marc Cramer

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Project location

Address:Casino de Montréal, Montreal, QC H3C, Canada

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Revival of the Casino of Montréal / Menkès Shooner Dagenais Le Tourneux Architectes + Provencher Roy + Associés Architectes" 08 Apr 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/493993/revival-of-the-casino-of-montreal-menkes-shooner-dagenais-letourneux-provencher-roy-architectes> ISSN 0719-8884

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