The World Of Hospitality Issue 12 2015 - Page 70

70 Casino of Montréal the World Of Hospitality Revival of the Casino of Montréal E xceptional fact, the Casino’s redesign will have led to the development of a real creative laboratory, with its own research and development budget. “The Casino was an unparalleled site of experimentation. With the help of local artisans, all the work on the space and material will have enabled us to assert the building’s unique and singular character even more,” confirms Jean-Pierre LeTourneux, Founding partner at Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux Architectes. Simplifying indoor circulations and spaces. The current project will complete the work that began in 1993, during the first stage of renovations that breathed new life in the former France pavilion of the 1967 World Exposition. The design and renovations were completed in a record time of 10 months. Following its immediate success, the following and limited enlargements were undertaken for the first time in 1994, and a second time in 1996, in the building that housed the former Quebec Pavilion. The new phase of renovations enabled a comprehensive review of the circulations and resolved some functional problems at the same time. The architects simplified the space by focusing it around a circular hub across four levels, where the recreational areas come together (bars and lounges). The gambling areas are located around the vertical column lit by a big mesh of aluminium slats, with panoramic elevators on the south side and a staircase on the north side. The 5th floor encompasses the restaurant service, with two fast food counters (Asian and Western), a buffet and an à la carte restaurant. To preserve the unity of the gambling area, the former administrative offices have been relocated outside the building. The multiple previous accesses have given way to a single majestic entrance, covering the reception, cloakroom and security areas. Outside, the designers streamlined automobile and pedestrian traffic that now converge to a single entry point. Setting up a strong identity was critical from the early stages of the project. For Yves Dagenais, Founding Partner of Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux Architectes, it was a question of finding, in collaboration with the marketing team, the Casino’s true strength of the tone, with regard not only to its position in the city but with its clientele as well. The current renovation project provides the interior space with its own personality, defined by a gaming, light and Montreal spirit theme. Each of the four gambling floors is identified by a playing card colour with the designs discreetly displayed in the perforated aluminium panels on the walls. By the same token, huge mannequins portray the effigy of a card figure (Queen of Hearts, the Joker...) that greets the visitors at the entrance of every recreational zone. Oversized tokens are hung or drawn on the ground to enhance the symbol of the game.