Using monochromatic palette both inside and out, Canadian firm ACDF Architecture has recently completed Hotel Monville in Montreal. Monville – a tongue-in-cheek Anglophone mix-up for the French words meaning “my city” – is one of the hotel’s many subtle cues that express a contemporary flavour of Montreal. Established by the owners of Old Montreal’s Hotel Gault, and the flagship for a future collection of properties, Hotel Monville targets travellers seeking “more for less” — removing all the unnecessary items, instead of providing guests with a sophisticated stay at an affordable price.
ACDF Architecture set out to design a 269-room property with the local character and sophistication of Hotel Gault, but with a design aligned with Monville’s unique concept. Distinguished from the surrounding buildings by its height and its modernist tromp l’oeil design, the slender building’s façade is comprised of prefabricated concrete panels – each window demarcating a single suite. The panels comprise a pattern that breaks down the overall appearance of the façade, while giving it texture and depth.
At grade, a three-storey curtain wall podium gives passersby views into the lobby/bar. The hotel’s elegant and monochromatic exterior matches the clean aesthetic of its interior public spaces, which include a lobby bar, the Gourmet Monville cafe, and various meeting areas, as well as a library and three rooftop rooms with a spacious outdoor terrace.
Guests enter through a vestibule with angled ceiling before arriving in the soaring triple- height lobby. There, oversized columns convey the awe of a cathedral. The columns impart monumentality and mystery, while also establishing distinct zones and areas of privacy. Their white bases, lit by custom-designed Lambert & Fils lamps, help to provide the lobby with more human-scaled proportions. Along the windows, oak-clad fins both channel and shield views inside from the street, further contributing to the lobby’s play between openness and intimacy. On the opposite wall, floating oak boxes hold the mezzanines, the DJ booth and a washroom corridor. The public area encourages guests to linger and socialize, with varied seating options and styles, including Montreal tartan sofas and leather banquettes.
Local artist Valerie Jodoin Keating created a custom mural for the space featuring vintage black and white photographs of urban life to amuse guests with glimpses of Montreal’s history. A steel screen abstractly recalls the city’s distinctive exterior staircases. At the apex of the space, there’s a lozenge-shaped white terrazzo bar with brass detailing. By contrast, the all-black and boxy cafe transitions from day to night, with a chef preparing an array of local fare from poutine to cassoulet.
A monochromatic palette sets a tone of simplicity in the guest suites – keeping attention on the floor-to-ceiling windows, which, in contrast to their effect of minimizing on the exterior, also enlarge the feeling of the rooms with expansive city views. The design team focused on providing guests with key comforts including king size beds and custom furnishings.
The team curated an experience with some of Montreal’s nest brands to imbue a sense of local flavour, including lighting by Lambert & Fils; uniforms by Frank & Oak; and all-natural bath products by Oneka. Hotel Monville will flaunt futuristic technologies too: Canada’s first self-check-in and smart televisions in the rooms that sync with personal devices and allow guests to order room service, which is delivered by a robot. Historic and contemporary, sophisticated and comfortable, and thoroughly local, Hotel Monville gives travelers a distinct taste of Montreal chic.