Building & Investment (Jan - Feb 2016) (Jan - Feb 2016) - Page 65

Design Feature Restaurant in Old Montréal gets Mediterranean makeover Designer BlazysGérard adds Greek accents to the interior of Ikanos Restaurant. Photos by: Jean Longpré IKANOS, AN OLD Montreal restaurant with Mediterranean flair, is located along McGill Street in Montréal, Canada. For his new Mediterranean-styled restaurant, the owner chose an imposing space in an old warehouse that had more recently served as an artist’s studio. He appointed designer Blazysgérard to take on the challenge of crafting a strong identity for the restaurant. The concept is based on a re-interpretation of the characteristic architecture of Greece and neighbouring countries. The goal was to develop an architectural language that would meet the client’s requirements while remaining consistent with the theme, without becoming a mere pastiche or stage set. Designers Alexandre Blazys and Benoit Gérard approached the problem from a fresh, modern angle. The bar sets the tone with a blackened steel arch, antique mirrors and deep blue bar stools. By installing a constellation of smoked globe lights of varying sizes, the designers sought to echo the Mediterranean sky. Wood and leather banquettes structure the restaurant’s space and different zones. They help maximise the restaurant’s capacity while giving guests excellent views of Old Montreal outside the restaurant. The wood and seagrass chairs are accented with sheepskin, giving the space a playful feminine touch. Meanwhile, the designers approached the ceiling as an infinite pergola made of suspended wood planks. Spaced at regular intervals, the planks generate an interesting interplay of shadow and light on the brick and straw paper walls. Lights and service conduits are concealed above the planks, giving the space a warm, intimate character and a more human scale. Lighting at the base of the partitions is concealed inside steel mouldings, creating a visual horizon for guests. The placement of the kitchen in the basement made it possible to consolidate all technical services on the left side of the building. The kitchen is a major technical achievement in its own right. Faced with the need to run an enormous exhaust conduit across four levels, including a huge elbow behind the bar, the designers turned the constraint to their advantage by making the conduit the focal point and unifying element of the bar. Alexandre Blazys and Benoit Gérard joined forces in 2003 to form Blazysgérard, a Montreal design and architecture studio. Their mission is to create balanced, functional environments at a human scale. „ More information at Building & Investment | 61