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2013 Awards of Excellence

Innovation in Architecture


KANVA Architecture Management R&D (Montreal, QC)
Full credits

The urban housing project, Irène, located in Montreal’s borough, St-Henri, brands the innovative exterior building envelope as the iconic persona of the project. The curtain protecting the three-storey addition floats above the existing two-storey brick structure and is created from customized perforated aluminum panel. Drawing an analogy with a theatrical curtain, the metal perforation acts equally to veil and to reveal the activity within, serving a performative function that adds a touch of spectacle to the neighbourhood. Irène substantiates the incorporation of a poetic concept in conjunction with a challenging technical innovation giving rise to a functional, viable and aesthetic project.

Click on a photo to enlarge:

Photo: Jimmy Hamelin

Photo: Jimmy Hamelin

Photo: Marc Cramer

Photo: Marc Cramer

Photo: Marc Cramer

Jury Comments

"This urban housing project demonstrates a thoughtful and well-executed integration of innovative architectural design and technical resolutions."

"The existing two storey industrial building was expanded with the addition of three new floors, clad with a custom aluminum screen system, which simultaneously contrasts and complements the existing structure. The resulting contrast of the new operable modular shutter screen system is sympathetic and unpretentious, as well as, referencing the original use of the building in metal fabrications…..the screen envelope has a “factory” quality to it. It is an expression of it’s current time while being fully respectful of the original building."

"The dynamic façade screening system was fully researched and developed for this unique project for multiple site, user and environmental requirements. The result is a strong multi-functional architectural envelope that unifies the design of the project."

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