Look inside Mark+Vivi’s live/work studio and it’s hard to imagine that this beautiful light-filled space used to be a 1920s tire shop. The dramatic transformation from industrial roots to a new chic appearance is a testament to the skills of Mark+Vivi, an interdisciplinary design/build studio based on Montreal, Canada. Located in the transitioning city of Verdun, Quebec, the studio, named the Tire Shop Project, consumes 35 to 50% less energy than similar sized homes in the city thanks to energy-efficient retrofits like double-glazed windows and an inverter ducted heating and cooling system.
The Tire Shop was Mark+Vivi’s inaugural project that functioned as the designers’ live/work studio and the home to La Façade Art + Architecture, a storefront gallery dedicated to the exhibition of local contemporary art and experimental architecture. Sustainability was at the heart of the 800-square-foot renovation, from the reuse of the building to the designers’ focus on passive energy design. “One of the greatest sustainable aspects of our building is not what was used to revitalise it but rather how we live because of it,” said designers Mark Fekete and Viviana de Loera.
Mark+Vivi preserved the original building footprint but replaced all of the windows with double-glazed, low-E units. A shop window with commercial-grade storefront glazing was added in the front to show off the art on the display. All the internal floors, shelving, and cabinetry were built from locally sourced Canadian plywood, and the painted and exposed surfaces were finished in low-VOC treatments. An energy-efficient 12,000-btu interior wall-mounted inverter ducted system provides all the heating and cooling. Natural light floods the interior, which further minimized energy use. The Tire Shop project was completed at a cost of $150 per square foot, a considerable savings from the typical $200-$350 per square foot for new construction of projects of comparable size in Montreal.
Images by Adrien Williams