NEUF Architect(e)s converted the former BMO Harris Private Banking offices into their own, combining the visions of the firm’s nine partners. Seeing their differences as an asset rather than an obstacle requiring compromise, the architects succeeded with brio, as the jury pointed out, the fusion of the old and the contemporary, which earned them the Office Award 20,000 ft2 and under.
The challenge was to set up open offices in line with the current work organization, within the highly traditional and conservative existing premises, while preserving a large part of the site’s heritage. Entering the reception area, one can appreciate the combination of coffered wood walls and linear lighting devices that set the tone. As a playful nod to one of the partners, the light fixtures were installed following the partition of the U2 song Elevation, which for the firm symbolizes people’s aspiration to go higher. According to the jury, NEUF Architect(e)s was able to achieve a graphic connection to the skyline through signage on the windows, thus creating an interesting parallel between the work carried out in offices and tangible projects on the outside. This contact with the exterior, which can be felt throughout the entire space, was achieved through the mastery of transparency in volumes and open spaces.