The Tire Shop is MARK+VIVI's inaugural project located in the transitioning city of Verdun, Quebec. The renovated 800 sq.ft space, a former tire shop, functioned as the designers’ live/work studio and housed La Façade Art + Architecture, a storefront gallery dedicated to the exhibition of local contemporary art and experimental architecture.
Originally built in 1920, the Tire Shop’s newly exposed structure supports the playful integration of simple, raw, modern, industrial materials with smart and efficient design.
“We have had an overwhelmingly positive response from our neighborhood” say designers Mark Fekete and Viviana de Loera. “We wanted to create a home that served as a catalyst for the design community while providing opportunities for local artists who would otherwise not have a chance to exhibit their work”.
With a strong commitment to sustainable living, Fekete and de Loera state, “One of the greatest sustainable aspects of our building is not what was used to revitalise it but rather how we live because of it. Coming from California, we realised the incredible waste of time and natural resources involved in daily commuting, not to mention the pollution. Living in Montreal, our goal is to eliminate our dependency on the car and to turn to public transportation. So, now we work from home and do our part in eliminating vehicular pollution. The time we save not sitting in traffic is better spent becoming acquainted with our neighborhoods, supporting local businesses, and living an overall healthier lifestyle.”
MARK+VIVI is an interdisciplinary design studio based in Montreal, Canada. Co-founders, Mark Fekete (born Montreal, Canada) and Viviana de Loera (born Zacatecas, Mexico), are two designers who began their collaboration after graduating from the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where they both received degrees in architecture.
After working for various architecture firms in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the two moved to Montreal, Mark’s home town. Upon their arrival, they spent a year exploring transitioning neighborhoods in search of projects they could "have fun" with. Once asked what their mission was, Fekete replied “We'd like to help revitalize our city one building at a time.”
Passive Energy Design
The Tire Shop utilises natural light extensively, while its compact size means that only small
amounts of energy are required to heat or cool the interior.
Internal floors, shelving and cabinetry are all built using locally sourced Canadian plywood. All painted and exposed surfaces, such as walls, floors and furniture are finished in low VOC treatments.
Doors and windows have all been replaced. Windows are now double glazed, low-E units. The main front window is commercial grade storefront glazing.
All heating and cooling is provided by an energy-efficient 12,000 btu interior wall-mounted inverter ducted system. An independent energy consumption analysis found that the Tire Shop consumes approximately 35-50% less energy than similarly sized homes in the city.
Renovation versus new build
New construction of projects of comparable size/scope in Montreal cost from $200-$350 per square foot. The Tire Shop project was completed at a cost of $150 per square foot. The clients noted that acting as designer and general contractor also helped save money.