The Ilot Balmoral is a 13-story mixed-use office building commissioned by the Societe d’Habitation de Montreal (SHDM). It lights up the Quartier des Spectacles in Downtown Montreal’s creative district as one of the final major developments in the area.

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A large skyscraper building that splits itself apart at a corner to reveal red design

“We proposed four visions of what an office building specifically designed for a cultural economy could look like, and Ilot Balmoral was selected to echo the very vibrant, dynamic nature of the district,” said Architect Claude Provencher, founding partner at Provencher Roy. “The Quartier des Spectacles is a cultural center of activity that is now almost complete in its revitalization and transformation of the urban fabric surrounding Place des Arts.”

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Shot from the ground upwards to a white and red building

Furthermore, Provencher Roy is an award-winning Canadian architecture firm. They focus on all forms of the built environment, integrating interior and exterior design with sustainable technology.

A corner of the red and white building

From the outside, Ilot Balmoral is an almost perfect cube. It is wrapped in glass covered in a white frit pattern that controls thermal heat gain. The façade of the building doubles as a screen that can have images projected onto it. Additionally, the glass allows natural daylight into the structure. These components helped the building meet LEED Gold sustainability standards.

A shot take from the ground up of the red designs leading up to the glass ceiling

Inside, the large red atrium curves diagonally through the center of the cube, creating an interior alleyway. This was to serve the site’s previous pedestrian flow, which moves between the Place des Arts metro station and Place des Festivals. The diagonal cut through the center of the building is marked on the outside by a red external fold visible against the smooth glass exterior. As a result, Ilot Balmoral looks to be a neighborhood unto itself, with interior passageways and a cohesive design that is simple and lovely at the same time.

A glass window with a red design on either side like curtains fills one wall of a hallway

Moreover, the National Film Board of Canada agreed to be the building’s core tenant in order to modernize their facilities. Provencher Roy redesigned four floors of Ilot Balmoral to meet the technical requirements of the new tenant, including editing rooms and the latest in film equipment. Meanwhile, the main stairway lights the way to the Film Board’s offices.

A red ceiling with a white staircase

Also, pedestrian bridges connect the building’s interior offices with stunning views of the surrounding city. One side of the interior space is taller than the other, which features a green rooftop space for outdoor events. The building is a candidate for Gold LEED-NC Certification.

+ Provencher Roy

Photography by Stéphane Brügger