Huma Design recently converted La Fabrique 125, a former textile and clothing manufacturing area, into a neighbourhood for living and creativity.
"We reinterpreted the spirit of the place to convey the new vocation of Quartier Chabanel, defined as the Montreal hub of fashion and design," commented Stephanie Cardinal, president of Huma Design.
"The project was conceived to be a beacon of creativity, light, and space, with customizable open areas, exceptionally large windows and incredibly high ceilings, and signage with typography that evokes the building's industrial history as much as it states its new identity."
The desiners preserved the original spirit of the building, from the concrete structure to the rhythm of the façade's frame and the exterior cladding materials (glazed white bricks and black bricks).
At the same time, they played on the contrasts between industrial past and new residential vocation in order to affirm the building's identity. For instance, the address identification painted on the façade evokes the 192 new housing units, and the fine lines of the Didot typeface stand out against the building's massive form. Inside, the visual identity features motifs inspired by different sewing stitches - a reminder of La Fabrique 125's origins - and the signage refers to the typeface used on the façade.
Adding to the contrasting interplay of elements, the new fenestration is designed as long bands of six-foot-high glass that emphasize the building's lines by being slightly recessed from the masonry cladding. The ground floor has been detached from the rest of the building thanks to an awning that runs across two facades, serving also as a support for lighting, as well as a curtain wall on Chabanel Street and different fenestration on Esplanade Street.
Photos: Robert Bock