Page N1.1 . 21 July 2004                     
ArchitectureWeek - News Department
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Commercial Qualities of Montréal

by ArchitectureWeek

When a business community learns to appreciate the value of design excellence, an entire city can benefit. This is the lesson of the Commerce Design Montréal competition, which concluded its tenth annual round earlier this year. Twenty projects in the French-Canadian city demonstrate that design and business can help each other thrive.

In looking back at the successes highlighted by this competition over the past decade, Montréal's Mayor Gérald Tremblay said proudly: "Commerce Design Montréal has succeeded in involving and bringing together businesspeople, design professionals, members of the public, governments, and the tourism sector. Since 1995, this synergy has had a powerful impact on the quality of the urban environment as well as on the city's economic competitiveness, cultural scene, and identity."

The effect is visible in the thoughtful design of large stores and small boutiques, in hair salons and restaurants. These projects are not concentrated downtown but are found throughout Montréal, where they are helping to reinvigorate neighborhoods of all densities. The projects have little else in common except that they have rejected the clichés of mass appeal and flatter their customers who are presumed to value design and urbanity over the ordinary.   >>>

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Outdoor specialist Mountain Equipment Co-op, designed by Studio MMA, Atelier d'Architecture, Duschenes & Fish/DFS Architectes, and Lise M. Tremblay.
Photo: David Smith

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Salon alterna-tif by combines a hairdressing salon and an art gallery.
Photo: Serge Paré


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