From past to present : Credit unions area

From past to present : Credit unions area

21.11.10
The Bank of Montreal (BMO) arrived in downtown Montreal in the 1970s. Determined to establish a different identity that the other banking institutions in the area, BMO went looking for the ideal architect. The search ended when they heard about a small, local firm that had recently completed several credit unions on the South Shore.

The firm was headed by Roger Desmarais and Edgar Tornay, who soon had plans for a building that resembled an armored maze. Responding to the bank's specific requirements at the time due to the difficult economic situation, the layout and materials needed to withstand the impact of gunfire! Working alongside Terry Brown, the architect proposed a massive building, whose simple geometry and mass stood out from its other more demure neighbors in Westmount. Opened in 1971, the new BMO quickly became the brand's flagship with its brutalist style that gave the impression of being safe, sturdy, and impenetrable.

At the same time Roger Desmarais continued to develop the credit unions in the suburbs in a style characterized by a visible self-supporting structure made of concrete caissons. Among the branches built, La Flèche in Saint-Hubert and Saint-Sulpice in Ahuntsic symbolize the "caisse pop" spirit of the time as the economic engine of the neighbourhood. The simple architectural style of the series with concrete slabs and pyramidal pillars would become recognizable as people began to frequent them more and more. As they gained popularity, they financed a series of affordable rental residences, which were also built by our firm.


 

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