Press kit no. 1057-09

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Press kit - Press release - Le James - McGill University Bookstore - KANVA

Press Kit | no. 1057-09

Le James - McGill University Bookstore

Montréal, Canada

KANVA

Montréal, Canada, 2019-11-18 - 

Le James of McGill University located outside the formal campus, is a bookstore designed as an extension of the downtown Montreal campus. The bookstore is a fully connected campus space, a catalyst between the university and the city of Montreal. It becomes a place for exchange and academic pride that allows students to appropriate the site.


Located on two levels (ground floor and basement), the bookstore focusses its attention on a large central staircase. This element is inspired by the traditional exterior stairs of the McGill university buildings that students have become accustomed to occupying. This striking element serves both as a circulation tool and as a visual link. Its strategic location and generous size allow a great source of natural light into the basement, thus anchoring this space in the context of the street. The oversized, step-inspired staircase creates a gathering place that encourages connections between McGill students. Above the staircase, vintage industrial lights have been installed to soften the light on this space, creating a comforting and welcoming place. With charging stations integrated into it, the staircase aims to accommodate spontaneous work sessions for students. By adding another stage at the entrance of the shop, students are invited to stay longer, reinforcing the idea of campus expansion rather than an addition.


The use of bamboo, the transparency of railings that highlight the original concrete structure and the built-in benches encourage the staircase to become a meeting place conducive to interactions. Le James Bookstore contributes to the pride of the McGill community and strengthens the sense of belonging to this great institution.


Instead of changing the outside entrance or enlarging it, Kanva designed a tier in bamboo in front of the bookstore, in the lobby of the building to attract passers-by. This relaxing area is used to introduce the grand staircase, marking the presence of the bookstore Le James in the semi-public domain.

 

Project Specs

Bamboo is the main material of Le James Bookstore. Chosen for its durability and its environmental aspect, it was dedicated to the staircase and all the floors of the bookstore. Bamboo creates a fluid connection between the ground floor and the basement. The use of bamboo for the staircase and the transparency of the railings highlight the original concrete structure. One of the design strategies was to give an industrial impression to the bookstore. To do so, the concrete was unveiled, vintage industrial lamps were added and all electromechanical services were exposed. Another design strategy was to use a subtle, natural colour palette so that the merchandise, most of which is red, would be contrasted and attract passers-by. Blackwood laths were placed on the service counters and the sides of the staircase to discreetly highlight the major interaction points of the students with the bookstore.


Another challenge was to create a flexible program to accommodate different peak times in the bookstore. During the year, the proportion between the number of books and the amount of clothing that occupies the shop varies according to peak periods. The furniture is designed to create distinct layouts that adapt to the library's needs, which vary according to the seasons, thus facilitating traffic and safety during high traffic periods.

 

Collaborators

Client: McGill University

Architect: KANVA

Structure: NCK

Electromechanical: BFA

Lighting: CS design


About KANVA

KANVA's work is engaging, memorable and sensitive to human experience and contemporary culture. Founded in 2003 by Tudor Radulescu (OAQ LEED PA MRAIC) and Rami Bebawi (OAQ MRAIC RBQ), KANVA is composed of a collective of dynamic architects whose practice is part of a desire to think, imagine, draw and build in Montreal and beyond. KANVA has an approach that seeks to question and transform the built environment. The firm approaches each project as an opportunity to tell a story, to imagine a place and to broaden the scope and dialogue between art and architecture.

 

For many years, the firm has been accumulating several important awards and honours, such as three awards for excellence from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, including the Emerging Architects' Firm Award in 2015 and the Innovation Excellence Award in 2013. KANVA has also won four Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence and two Ordre des Architectes du Québec Awards of Excellence, and has also distinguished itself on the international scene by being a finalist four times at the prestigious World Architecture Festival and most recently as the winner of the Experimental Future Project of the Year 2018 in Amsterdam.  

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For more information

  1. www.kanva.ca

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Press kit | 1057-09 - Press release | Le James - McGill University Bookstore - KANVA - Commercial Architecture - Photo credit: David Boyer
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Press kit | 1057-09 - Press release | Le James - McGill University Bookstore - KANVA - Commercial Architecture - Photo credit: David Boyer
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Press kit | 1057-09 - Press release | Le James - McGill University Bookstore - KANVA - Commercial Architecture - Photo credit: David Boyer
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Press kit | 1057-09 - Press release | Le James - McGill University Bookstore - KANVA - Commercial Architecture - Photo credit: David Boyer
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Press kit | 1057-09 - Press release | Le James - McGill University Bookstore - KANVA - Commercial Architecture - Photo credit: David Boyer
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Press kit | 1057-09 - Press release | Le James - McGill University Bookstore - KANVA - Commercial Architecture - Photo credit: David Boyer
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Press kit | 1057-09 - Press release | Le James - McGill University Bookstore - KANVA - Commercial Architecture - Photo credit: David Boyer
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Press kit | 1057-09 - Press release | Le James - McGill University Bookstore - KANVA - Commercial Architecture - Photo credit: David Boyer
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Press kit | 1057-09 - Press release | Le James - McGill University Bookstore - KANVA - Commercial Architecture - Photo credit: David Boyer
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Press kit | 1057-09 - Press release | Le James - McGill University Bookstore - KANVA - Commercial Architecture - Photo credit: David Boyer
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Press kit | 1057-09 - Press release | Le James - McGill University Bookstore - KANVA - Commercial Architecture - Photo credit: David Boyer
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Press kit | 1057-09 - Press release | Le James - McGill University Bookstore - KANVA - Commercial Architecture - Development plan - Photo credit: KANVA
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