The presence of a bygone era
When the retractable roof on the terrace of the Le Richmond – Griffintown restaurant is open, the plants inside echo the verdant trees growing outside and patrons can enjoy a meal surrounded by greenery. While the ambience of the loft-style restaurant is inviting, the visual vocabulary used by designer Luc Laroche for the restaurant’s conversion recalls its industrial-era building and celebrates both history and modernity.
Black painted steel, brick, and structural and decorative elements made of Eastern hemlock are all materials that hark back to the Montreal of 1886, the year the building was built. The contemporary execution contributes to the sumptuous and warm decor. The jury noted the quality of the concept, which sets itself apart by drawing its inspiration from the past to create an inviting, modern space.
The industrial soul of the building is evident in a number of elements, including the seating areas made of large planks of Eastern hemlock, floors made out of bricks recovered from the old building, and large glass garage doors that open onto the terrace. The forest of potted trees, containers of fresh herbs, and wrought iron furnishings evoke the winter gardens of the Victorian era. This restaurant, with its remarkable terrace, is a decidedly modern Montreal eatery that honours and celebrates its 19th-century roots.