L'Opération patrimoine architectural de Montréal

The Artisan Award
The Award of Excellence SITQ
The Award for Architectural Integration APCHQ
The Commercial Building Heritage Award CIGM


Portail de la Ville de Montréal

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The Artisan Award

The Artisan Award honours a person or business having earned special recognition for restoring heritage architectural or decorative elements.

This year’s Artisan Award is presented to La Belle Corniche et fils. This business, founded more than 10 years ago by Marc Gagnon, specializes in the restoration of architectural and ornamental heritage elements. Its clientele is made up of insightful owners who care about preserving and enhancing the original architectural elements of their properties. Discriminating owners congratulate themselves on choosing a small but extremely knowledgeable and qualified team of experts.

Older buildings have their own architecture and unique decorative elements, which set them apart from modern, more standardized buildings. The work of La Belle Corniche et fils is very much like the work of artisans and sculptors, in that the workers must be creative as well as expert craftsmen, because antique architectural elements are no longer available on the market.

This business has helped a great deal to safeguard architectural heritage in Montréal, and for that reason it truly deserves this award.

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  The Award of Excellence SITQ

The Award of Excellence is granted to a person or group, in recognition of efforts to preserve the city’s heritage for the benefit of Montrealers and visitors.

This year, the award is presented to Georges Coulombe for his exceptional contribution to the preservation of architectural heritage in Montréal.

Georges Coulombe belongs to the field of graphic arts. Over the years, he has acquired with great flair, and painstakingly restored, more than 30 old buildings, mainly in Old Montréal, and gave them a new life.

In 1976, as his first project, he refurbished a partially abandoned building at
296, rue Saint-Paul Ouest
, which he used for his office. He was hooked! Other acquisition/restoration projects followed at a rate of one per year. He is particularly fond of old warehouses, which he transforms into office or business space, or even residential condominiums.

The impact Georges Coulombe has had on Old Montréal is colossal. Several of his buildings have become icons, including the former head offices of the Royal Bank, Molson Bank, Insurance Exchange on rue Saint-Jacques, La Sauvegarde Building on Notre-Dame Est, or his most recent project, Cité Nouveau Monde, which is made up of six historic, but vacant, buildings on rue de la Commune Ouest, which he transformed into condominiums and business premises. Another project involved recycling the former American Can plant in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve neighbourhood.

Unlike speculators who buy and sell properties, Georges Coulombe keeps his properties which he manages with the help of a small team of dedicated professionals, and in some cases, with his daughter Anne and son Stephann.

Georges Coulombe is passionate about history, a shrewd collector of antique art and very much involved in his field. He is the President elect of the Board of Directors of the Société de développement commercial du Vieux-Montréal, Vice-Chairman of the Quartier international de Montréal, and a member of the Board of Directors of Pointe-à-Callière, the Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History.

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The Award for Architectural Integration
  Garantie maisons neuves APCHQ

This award is presented to a business for its efforts to enhance an old neighbourhood, by integrating a new, quality construction into the existing urban fabric.

This year, the award goes to the firm Les Développements D’arcy McGee Ltée and to the Atelier Big City architectural firm, for the Unity 2 project. This new quality building, at the corner of rue De la Gauchetière Ouest and rue Saint-Alexandre, blends in well with the existing urban fabric and the heritage Unity Building, of which it is an extension.

The use of integration elements to blend in with the classified Unity Building is a fine example of Montréal architecture influenced by the Chicago School style, is simply remarkable. The building has won an award as part of the Montréal Architectural Heritage Campaign 2003. The façade is in tune with the position and proportions of the window openings; the cornice is strikingly prominent; the shape and mix of materials and masonry elements of the new building are consistent with the style of the 1913 building.

Located on the last undeveloped piece of land on rue Saint-Alexandre, the Unity 2 Building blends in well with the other heritage buildings, with its three-part façade and typical red, textured brick and stone. The residential section of the Unity 2 Building is discreet, featuring blue translucent panels rather than the usual balconies. This building has a very contemporary look, thanks to the choice and arrangement of materials, very much like the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec Building just across the street.

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The Commercial Building Heritage Award

This award is granted to a corporation for its contribution to the preservation of heritage commercial buildings.

This year, the award is presented to Groupe Antonopoulos, and to Béïque, Legault, Thuot Architects, for the recycling and exemplary restoration of the Alexander-Cross Building at 43-51, rue Saint-Jacques, in Old Montréal.

The project, which was completed in 2007, involved the transformation of a former office building into rooms, suites and conference rooms for the Place d’Armes Hotel, which occupies two adjoining buildings.

Groupe Antonopoulos had a lot to do to restore the prestige and original appearance of this magnificent building, which was built in 1869 by Scottish lawyer Alexander Cross and classified as historical monument in 1976.

The team of professionals at Béïque, Legault, Thuot Architects restored all the masonry, to highlight the local greystone façade wall. The granite features, which were unfortunately added over the years, were removed. The exceptional masonry work by the firm Atwill-Morin is noteworthy. The cornice was redone entirely to restore the building’s original look, as were the doors and windows. The original, interior brick walls were preserved.

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