For the second time, René Desjardins has created the interior design for the new offices of Montreal ad agency Bos. On November 1, 2007, the project tied for the Créativité Montréal Grand Prize in the category of offices over 10,000 sq. ft.
The Return of Bos
When Bos moved into its St. Lawrence Blvd. office in 1995, the agency’s partners asked René Desjardins to do the interior design. The project stretched out over 8 years, as the office was renovated a number of times. The final design was a model of consistency and organization, winning an Institute of Design Montréal Award in 2003, some 10 years after the starting phase!
By 2005, having outgrown its St. Lawrence office, Bos purchased an old warehouse on the Lachine Canal. Once again, management called on René Desjardins for help with the conversion and renovation project. The design mandate was to fit out 45,000 sq. ft. of work and meeting areas, bathrooms and the building’s annex.
Strength and Integrity
The designer immediately understood that the industrial building was a powerful space. Composed of strong, imposing elements like exposed brick walls and structural steel, the site’s architecture required a forceful approach. Desjardins decided to design new fixtures and fittings, more in line with the spirit and scale of the site. He opted for waxed black steel, an industrial material that is nonetheless smooth and warm to the touch.
“First and foremost, a place must be functional and comfortable to live in. While steel meets the raw aesthetic of the site, the wax creates a pleasing work surface”, explains Desjardins. The decision to light the interior brick walls also pays tribute to the spirit of the place. Lighting the walls with projectors gives them a presence and creates an open, light-filled space. In short, it is a space that stimulates creativity.
However, not everything is dense and solid. To counteract the industrial aesthetic, there are also touches of transparency and lightness, particularly in the conference rooms. The large glass-enclosed conference room takes advantage of virtual views of the Lachine Canal. The office partitioning system in the annex is also notable for its clean, delicate lines.
Location: Montreal, Canada, USA
Interior Design: René Desjardins
In collaboration with: arch. Luc Laporte
Photographer: Marc Cramer