GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN – 8th edition
Bright colours, sympathetic touches and… concrete. Potentially an awkward combination, but in this student residence created by the architectural firm KANVA, it works wonderfully. The building has been divided into a number of individual or double-occupancy bedrooms, with inviting and convivial common areas—a dining room, kitchen and living room on each floor, as well as a garden. The large windows let in plenty of natural light, which is conducive to study and creates a welcoming interior.
The entirely concrete structure ensures the building’s solidity and soundproofing while contributing to the aesthetics of the design. Both outside and in, yellow elements highlight common areas and convey the fresh and dynamic approach taken by the designers to appeal to the target clientele. But the concept doesn’t stop there; for their finishing touches, the architects photoengraved the concrete panels on the building’s façade with a sequence from a film made in Montreal in 1901 by none other than Thomas Edison. This building was thus named after the famous inventor, and history plays a discreet role in this otherwise wholly contemporary project.
The intelligent approach used in developing this project won the jury over, as well as the smart use of colour and the obviously sensitive design and use of space. Not only does this building fulfil its practical purpose extremely well, it also fits distinctively into the Montreal landscape.