The new Simons store at Fairview Pointe-Claire is part of the mall's major renovation project and more specifically the rehabilitation of the space formerly occupied by the now defunct Sears banner. With a surface area of 8,826 square metres (95,000 square feet) spread over two floors, this all-new store required the construction of a new façade for its only dedicated exterior entrance.
The general concept was developed based on the theme of 'back to the future', which includes key notions of sustainability, the future, structures of the earth, retro-futurism and technology. In the execution, these themes are expressed using repetitive patterns reminiscent of cells and honeycombs, and the integration of materials such as ceramic, wood and terrazzo.
The colour palette focuses on natural hues such as greens, browns, beiges, and creams to evoke nature, as well as white, black, metallic and reflective effects for high contrast areas related to modernity.
Inside, the two entrances to the store, one overlooking the mall and the other in the glass atrium, have been treated with the same green ceramic cladding, installed in columns from floor to ceiling. The effect creates a strong impact and high visibility in the brand's colours.
In the store, the design is refined and intelligent. The different departments of Maison Simons have their own identity as per usual. Some areas are full of dynamism and trendy flair, such as Icône, where the space has a sleek oriental aesthetic in its modern, eclectic and electrifying feel, while other departments are kept sober and chic to showcase the collections, relying on material combinations with colours and patterns that reflect each one's own individuality.
For the exterior, we also looked to the Brutalist movement for inspiration in integrating patterns and shapes into the precast concrete surfaces. The result is a concrete facade with retro lines that complement the existing brick clad- ding and on which the green canopy and the repetitive pattern of precast concrete semi-circles create a particularly dynamic movement. On the technical side, it is worth noting that the precast concrete panels had to be made of fiberglass-reinforced concrete to limit the loads on the existing structure of the building.
The façade of the new Simons store in the CF Fairview Pointe-Claire shopping centre on the West Island of Montreal is distinguished by a very original architectural signature. This is the third project awarded by Simons to BPDL, a recognition of BPDL’s capabilities to realize Simon’s requirements successfully. And, as in previous projects, the designers pushed the limits of precast concrete construction.
The precast concrete components were used to renovate an existing structure, giving the new building a singular modern look in keeping with the style of the Simons boutiques. The project required the use of 106 GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete) prefabricated panels, a solution recognized for its light weight and reliability. GFRC, a blend made of concrete and glass fibers, is an excellent option when adding new components to an existing structure or when weight limitations are required.
The prefabricated GFRC panels proved to be instrumental in creating an effective rain screen cladding which met the design requirements of both the architect and structural engineer. Minimizing load transfers onto the existing structure represented the biggest challenge. Through careful planning and technical analysis, BPDL was able to determine the best solution for the project. BPDL used a five-head CNC machine to produce formliners of the very high precision necessary to create the curved geometric patterns of the precast concrete cladding.
CHRISTINE BOUCHARD IS THE DIRECTOR OF ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AT BPDL INC.
BPDL photos by Photo Daphnée Bouchard.
Lemay Michaud Architecture Design
La Maison Simons
Canadian Precast Prestressed Concrete Institute
PO Box 24058 Hazeldean, Ottawa Ontario, Canada K2M 2C3