Although we are often looking to identify the cause of our emotions, some places provide us with a sense of wellbeing or inner peace whose source simply eludes us. While structure, colors, forms, materials and brightness might influence our general impression, the answer to that feeling is usually found in a balance of different elements created by an architectural signature worthy of the adjective.
As you enter MICHEL BRISSON’s menswear store of West Laurier Street in Montreal, you gradually feel this intangible balance that conveys you towards a unique shopping experience, whose heart lies in an architectural transformation signed Saucier+Perrotte.
Formerly occupied by a bank, the 2500 square feet space (excluding mezzanine) has been stripped down to reveal its original brutalist structure to which an ensemble of modern and functional elements has been added.
The clothing racks, suspended from the second floor’s ceiling, also act as a linear lighting system, which combined with the luminous ceiling that covers the entire mezzanine’s surface, offer a soft and comfortable atmosphere.
The numerous reflections created by the ubiquity of glass and mirrors generate a magnitude’s impression that contributes to this emotional sense of wellbeing.
The movable displays are positioned in harmony with the original building’s structure and the wide glazed facade is pushed toward the street to let in as much natural light as possible, as well as communicating the minimal and modern approach found inside the store.
Access to the mezzanine, where the owner’s office is located, is accentuated by a staircase that leads into the semicircular structure of the building’s rear end, enlightened by a striking skylight of the same curved shape.
While shopping men’s clothes from world renowned designers like Dries Van Noten, Saint Laurent and Rick Owens may be experienced in various locations, MICHEL BRISSON’s curated menswear selection in symbiosis with Saucier+Perrotte architecture offer a profoundly unique overall experience, which might just be the answer to what men have been seeking for a long time.
Photos by Alexander Wiseman