This fall, the National Bank of Canada unveiled its new trading floor in Montreal’s Sun Life Building. The trading floor is the financial institution’s nerve centre, where traders complete transactions for the bank and its clients. The facility remains the largest active trading floor in Quebec.
The room is an exceptional heritage space, with features such as columns, marble cladding, a ceiling lavishly decorated with gold leaf and a large skylight. Despite these rich details, the trading floor was dark and uncomfortable. It had been 20 years since the space was last renovated, and it needed to be modernized.
The Montreal office of Architecture49 won the architectural contract to design a well-lit, comfortable, technologically modern space for 256 traders and managers. The integrity of the unique space had to be safeguarded at every stage from design to construction. The designers opted for the targeted use of colours and textures as a means of highlighting the room’s historic character. The impressive glass skylight was cleaned, restored and fitted with more efficient lighting fixtures; it now delivers ample light to the floor. Contemporary elements, such as glass dividers for the private offices on the perimeter, allow occupants to enjoy considerable natural light, even in the very centre of the space. Special attention was paid to the room’s acoustics, which were tailored to allow traders to share the bustling open-concept space peacefully. The restoration and enhancement of the ceiling details, columns and bronze railings finally returned the space, built in 1917, to its rightful glory.
Official name of project: National Bank trading floor, Montreal
Location: Montreal, Canada
Client: National Bank of Canada
Alexandre Sauvé, OAQ, design architect
Alexandre Landry, M.Arch., design architect
Nicoleta Dan-Ferenta, OAQ, project manager
Pierre Baillargeon, OAQ, supervising architect
Louis-Pierre Hubert, technologist, on-site supervisor
Lead partner : Robert LaPierre, OAQ, FIRAC
Mechanical-electrical: Bouthillette Parizeau
Structural : NCK inc.
Contractor : Progest Construction
Surface area : 30,735 sq. ft.
Budget : CAD $12,000,000
Completion of work : October 2016
Photographs : Stéphane Brügger
About the Montreal office of Architecture49
In 1955, six architects with strong personalities and a variety of backgrounds founded the firm of Affleck, Desbarats, Dimakopoulos, Lebensold, Michaud & Sise. For more than 30 years, starting in the 1970s, the firm operated as Arcop, an acronym for Architects in co-partnership. Throughout its long history, the firm has had a strong influence on architecture in Quebec and across Canada. In 2014, six architecture studios joined forces and pooled their expertise and complementary talents to create a single Canada-wide firm, Architecture49. The new firm combines the experience and reputation of Arcop, AE Consultants, North 46, PBK, Smith Carter and WHW Architects.
With more than 50 architects and technologists, the Montreal office of Architecture49 stands out for its extensive experience in managing large- and small-scale projects and executing complex projects, particularly in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of large buildings. The office’s current and recent projects include the new La Presse newsroom, the Quebec City Armoury, and the East and West blocks of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.