Lemay is a Canadian-based architecture firm founded in 1957. Their offices are located in Montreal, Toronto, Quebec City, New York, Calgary and Edmonton. They aim to deliver tangible and sustainable value with a net positive approach for their clients. 

Lemay provides integrated design services for the built environment and is an expert in urban planning, sustainability, branding, and visual communication. They craft harmonious environments that speak to their users and neighbourhood. Lemay provides groundbreaking solutions to projects of any scale, adapted to a wide range of urban and environmental challenges.

Here are 15 Projects by Lemay.:

1. 730 Brewster

The 730 Brewster was initially a 100-year-old industrial building that was converted into an office building by Lemay, incorporating sustainable practices. Located in Montreal, Canada the five-storey multi-tenant industrial building was constructed in 2007 and covers an area of 14000m2. The 730 Brewster is LEED silver certified. Its primary building materials are brick and timber. Lemay focuses on creating sustainable buildings without losing their corporate and contemporary characteristics. 

Some of the green features of this building are:

–       Reclamation of 75% of the industrial building structure.

–       Introduction of large open windows that aid in natural ventilation and daylighting, reducing the usage    of artificial lighting.

–       About 80% of the materials have been reused.

–       Recycled and non-toxic and materials have been used.

–       The building is located in an area that is well connected to the public transport system and a bicycle hangar has been provided to promote eco-friendly methods of transportation.

–       Landscaping has been designed in a way that it does not require irrigation facilities.

–       New plumbing facilities were installed that offered a 30% reduction in water.

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©https://lemay.com/projects/780-brewster/
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2. BDO National Office

Lemay’s idea was to personify the corporate identity of the client and represent their values, diversity and workforce along with incorporating sustainable and functional workspaces and focussing on the well-being of the user group. The 42000ft2 structure in Toronto, Canada was built in 2018. Lemay used a biophilic approach which allowed the landscape to interact with people and created an open plan that helped in maximizing ventilation, access to daylight and encouraged interaction between people. 

Lemay had kept in mind the identity of the Canadian BDOintegrity, flexibility and openness. The importance of teamwork, adaptable and flexible spaces and healthy work environment was crucial to the client and achieved through this three storey LEED gold-certified structure. Folding walls and modular furniture promoted spaces to flow and expand easily, which hosted social activities, training sessions and town halls. Live moss covered the central staircase, a zero-maintenance planting solution by Lemay. 

Suspended lightweight wireframe trellises carried smaller plants. Indoor and outdoor terraces housed meetings and events. The materials chosen by Lemay were true to the Canadian identity- jewel tones fabric, wood, stone, glass and exposed concrete. To maintain acoustic privacy materials that absorb or deflect sound were used along with acoustic clouds.

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3. Complexe Synergia

Lemay describes the structure as ‘A contemporary statement and a nod to rural roots’. The six-storey office is the first non-residential project in Canada with all laminated wood structure using a chevron post and beam bracing system and cross-laminated timber (CLT) stairwells and elevator shafts. Complexe Synergia has no metal beams in its entire 72000ft2 area. Wood was suitable material for this project as it is lightweight, cost-effective and eco-friendly. 

Lemay’s idea was to display the local materials in a modern building and the unity between tradition and innovation. The roots of this building come from the traditional Canadian log cabin. Black spruce, pine, fir along with black aluminium panels, exposed concrete and glass give the building a dynamic character and blend with the context. 

The Complexe Synergia located in Saint-Hyacinthe, Canada was built in 2017 and is LEED silver certified. Lemay incorporated several energy-efficient technologies such as solar walls, drought-resistant landscape, digital sensors which measure carbon dioxide level and regulate ventilation and large rooftop terraces.

gfx ©https://www.world-architects.com/de/lemay-montreal/project/complexe-synergia

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4. 407-409 McGill

The 407-409 McGill is an extension of the centenary Shaughnessy building in Montreal, Canada. It was built to maximise the use of the adjacent abandoned plot. The commercial building’s glass façade balances the massive masonry in a contemporary way. 

Lemay introduced a street-level restaurant that connects the building to the existing landscape and reinforces the heritage building’s connection with the context. The ten-storey addition was done in 2018 using classical materials and huge windows maximizing the amount of natural light that penetrates through the building.

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5. Raymont Logistics

Raymont Logistics is built of an interesting mix created by Lemay, a fusion of industrial heritage and corporate identity. The heart of the office consists of a hub, which is an irregular space containing an auditorium, cafeteria and a library. 

The hub unifies the two work areas in the five-storey building yet separating them at the same time, it creates welcoming and open workspaces but maintains privacy. The building opens up numerous views towards the industrial heart of Canada.

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6. The Phenix

In 2019, Lemay had transformed a 1950’s warehouse into their office of 8000m2. Lemay took this opportunity to try out all their concepts and solutions regarding sustainability without compromising on design. The integration of a living green wall, climbing plant modules and a green room have considerably improved the indoor air quality and balanced the indoor humidity. 

A connection is created between the employees and nature, creating a calmer work environment, providing privacy and absorbing some amounts of sound. Every office area is provided with access to natural light which tremendously reduced the usage of artificial lighting. Some of the other features of The Phenix include installation of solar panels and a heat recovery system inside the curtain walls.

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7. Four Seasons, Montreal

The Four Seasons in Montreal shares a part of its indoor space with a historic complex. Lemay believed that it was important to create a relationship between the two and created spaces that correspond to its diverse hospitality, residential and commercial activities. The lower floors link the street with a massive structure. 

The first two floors are tinted in grey and clad with clear glass. The transparent property of glass helps in developing a relationship with the street, the immediate context and the building. The first floor has a large ballroom spread from east to west and separates the public spaces from private rooms. The upper part has been created at certain angles that create interesting volumes which mirror the internal circulation space. 

A metallic ribbon emerges from the façade which highlights this feature. Glass walls have been used to create an immaterial impression and granite on the side facades to embody various textures. Delicate ornamentation, slender lines and various textures and patterns are characteristic of the 46336m2 four seasons in Montreal, built-in 2019.

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©https://lemay.com/projects/four-seasons-montreal/
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8. Humaniti Vertical Village

Inspired by the relationship between humans and the urban environment, Lemay is in the process of creating a housing system that is based on the concept of ‘live, work, play’ in Montreal. 

The project is approximately 63000m2 and comprises a luxury hotel with 193 rooms, 314 rental units, 158 condominiums and has dedicated  57000ft2 to office space and 17000m2 to commercial and retail. Its unique H-shaped structure has been adapted to promote openness and build a relationship between all its 39 floors.

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9. Montmagny Library

In 2014 Lemay converted a heritage building in Montmagny, Canada into a library that was located and well connected to the wooded park and downtown. 

A pedestrian promenade unites the architecture and the surrounding landscape. It is covered with a canopy and overlooks a bay window which houses the children’s reading area within. Its most striking feature is its white wooden box that symbolizes the city, its history, landscape and community.

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10. Bishop’s University Learning Commons

The John Bessette library in Sherbrooke, Canada was converted to a learning commons in 2018. The user group consists of students, professors, librarians, administrators and alumni of the university. The concept was to promote knowledge transfer so Lemay built open spaces spread across three floors where students could express their curiosity and creativity and have the freedom to work together or individually if they like. 

Wood is the primary material used in this library that can accommodate 3500 students. Wooden spine ties all the functioning zones. The entrance of the library overlooks the academic quad and a forest within the campus. The core of the structure consists of an atrium that encloses a café and areas for formal and informal events. 

Workspaces are set up on either side and natural light was made to reach every portion of the library by space optimisation rather than massive openings. Some of the challenges Lemay had to work around were the lack of openings towards outdoors, low ceilings and creating the space in a way that it works independently of the various other activities happening on site.

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11. 738 Broadway

A four apartment housing project in New York was constructed in 2015 by Lemay. The building has hints of its former purpose, an industrial warehouse back in 1867. 738 Broadway includes two 2400ft2 and three 200ft2 lofts across its first two floors and has two 400ft2 penthouses featuring a 900ft2 private terrace. 

It has wide-open areas, lighted drop ceilings to emphasize its height and bright tones for lofts to enhance the spaciousness. An all-white building with streamlined, ergonomic, sophisticated interiors and features a mosaic of a glimpse of New York City in the lobby.

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12. Pomerleau Offices

In Levis, Canada resides the Pomerleau Offices, spread over 12552m2. Lemay conceptualised the relationship between nature and built environment, alteration between opacity and transparency. The materials used in this 2017 built structure are natural pine wood siding, polished concrete and raw steel plates. 

Office spaces and conference rooms are distributed throughout three wings, have a forest view and are organized around a central core. The core serves as a visitor welcome area and acts as a convergence point and a transition between the landscape and interior courtyard. 

The first wing is developed over two levels. Has open workspaces with closed offices in the centre, maximising natural light penetration. Common areas have been planned in a way to promote informal interaction. The second wing is of sculptural volume. 

The second level cantilevers, sheltering the floor below. It has a black facade highlighted by floor-to-ceiling windows on each side that opens into the exterior landscape. The third wing is a one-storey projection with a green roof. It has fully glazed meeting rooms that open into a courtyard.

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13. Bromont Summit Chalet

Lemay constructed the Bromont Summit Chalet in 2019 in Bromont, Canada, based on the idea of preserving the integrity of the landscape, enhancing it and maintaining the relationship of landscape and architecture. 

The chalet exposes its interior wood shell, supported by large glazed walls and large white roofs. It also includes a chairlift and landing, vehicle garage, pavilion and a ski resort.

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14. Astral Media

The idea of sharing, outreach, motion and communication comes through in this 6000m2 project by Lemay. Constructed in 2011 and located in Montreal, Canada, Astral Media has four floors of flexible meeting spaces that foster employee interaction in a contemporary manner. 

Workstations and common areas are provided on each coloured floor, linked by a central glass staircase. Some of the obstacles Lemay had to tackle were the client’s transition towards a modern and young image, and accommodating a large user group into one large open space.

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15. Bellechase Transport Center

 A multi-storeyed underground transport system is carving its way in Montreal, Canada. The project is still under construction and is said to cover an area of 936460ft2. Lemay created a curvilinear design that minimizes the impact of its presence and promotes practicality and functionality. The structure aims to reduce environmental impact by promoting walking and is topped by a vegetated platform. 

Lemay’s central concept is:

–       Shape- in line with the urban features. Its singular character is achieved by its circular volume.

–       Plane- the transport centre has a roof that functions as a large public square and extends into the surrounding residential area.

–       Spiral- the geometry of the building is defined by the form of the bus ramps.

–       Footprint- the entire structure is underground, minimizing the impact of the negative perceptions that usually arise with the introduction of such a massive building within the given context.

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©https://www.canadianarchitect.com/bellechasse-transport-centre/
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©https://lemay.com/projects/centre-de-transport-bellechasse/
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©https://www.canadianarchitect.com/bellechasse-transport-centre/
Author

Kavya Turaga is a third year architecture student from Bangalore. She believes that every building has a story and a soul, which helps in understanding its unique character. She finds inspiration in the smallest of things and is passionate about architectural photography.

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