Dubbed the Phénix for its regenerative approach to the relationship between architecture and the environment, Lemay’s Montreal office takes a neglected 1950s-era warehouse and transforms it into an experimental laboratory for an expansive transdisciplinary team of architects, designers and creatives to explore innovations in sustainability and design.
The office’s open-plan design promotes collaboration through a myriad of contributive spaces found along a bustling ‘main street’ that connects all three of the structure’s floors: Lined by continuous integrated furniture to appropriate space for informal meetings, relaxation and brainstorming sessions on one side, proverbial ‘storefronts’ line the opposite side with conference rooms, cafés, a library and archives, with the latter acting as a buffer between the thoroughfare’s activity and the concentrated Workshop where employees do most of their work and ideation.
Filled with abundance of natural light and natural ventilation that fuels both employees’ circadian rhythms and comfort alongside green walls and vegetated areas found on every floor, the office seeks to rejuvenate the body with a layout that encourages movement as well as spaces for fitness and healthy eating while the mind finds focus and creativity through original works of art and industrial chic accents.
An embodiment of the firm’s commitment to its Net Positive™ framework for sustainable strategies in built environments, the Phénix’s efforts in active and passive energy efficiency, carbon footprint reduction, adaptive reuse, and design focused on the health and well-being of its users makes it one of the most ambitiously sustainable and human-centred buildings in North America. These efforts have earned project several recognitions, among which include a rare three-star Fitwel rating, a Zero Carbon Building Performance Standard, a LEED-Platinum certification, a registration to the Living Building Challenge, and a Petal Certification from the International Living Future Institute.