Mies van der Rohe gas station on Nuns Island, Montreal

Nuns Island Gas Station, Montreal Mies van der Rohe Building, Photo, Design

Conversion of Mies van der Rohe gas station on Nuns Island, Montreal

Mies van der Rohe gas station, Montréal, Quebec – design by Les architectes FABG

21 Feb 2012

Gas Station on Nuns Island

Design: Les architectes FABG

English text (scroll down for French):

Conversion of Mies van der Rohe gas station on Nuns Island

Montreal, February 16, 2012 – Nun’s Island is part of the Hochelaga archipelago located immediately southwest of Montreal. It’s urbanization followed the opening of the Champlain bridge in 1962 under an ambitious master plan carried out by Metropolitan Structures, a real estate giant who had built numerous projects in Chicago with the collaboration of Mies van der Rohe. The new community included three high rise apartment buildings by Mies office and it led, in 1966, to a commission from Standard Oil to design a prototypical gas station.

Mies van der Rohe gas station on Nuns Island, Montreal

The station consists of two distinct volumes, one for car servicing and the other for sales, with a central pump island covered by a low steel roof that unifies the composition. The beams and columns were made of welded steel plates painted black that contrast with the white enamelled steel deck and bare fluorescent tubes.

Over the years, the interiors have been modified to incorporate a car wash on the sales side, the finishes, built-in furniture and equipment have been replaced and the custom made pumps removed. It ceased to be commercially operated in 2008 and the city of Montreal listed it as a heritage building in 2009 before initiating the project of a youth and senior activity centre. This simple program requires an open space for each group to congregate and participate in communal activities.

Mies van der Rohe gas station on Nuns Island, Montreal Mies van der Rohe gas station on Nuns Island, Montreal Mies van der Rohe gas station on Nuns Island, Montreal

The senior group occupies the larger volume to the benefit of its sixty members who play bridge, prepare communal meals, dance or invite lecturers. Stacking chairs and tables allow multiple configurations of the room.

The younger group occupies the smaller volume. Teenagers meet there daily to play games, listen to music, organize parties and events under the supervision of educators.

The first architectural task was to meticulously restore the envelope of the building by dismantling and repairing the corroded curtain wall, repointing the brick work and repainting the structure.

The second architectural task was to develop strategies for the new mechanical and electrical needs that would not affect the integrity of the heritage values. We choose to implement solutions originating from the sustainable development field of research to achieve this goal. The new geothermal wells under the asphalt around the building provide the major part of the energy required to operate the building but they also radically diminish the size of the equipment and eliminate the need for a cooling tower on the roof of the building. The new stainless steel gas pumps are in fact air in take and out take devices that are linked by underground ducts to the HVAC system. They replace the louvers that we would have had to install on the building and this solution contributes to the pre-cooling or heating of the fresh air admitted, the canadian well effect.

The third task was to radicalize the building with the new interventions in order to emphasize its inherent qualities and the essential values that it embodies. Formal unity and simplicity is enhanced by making everything black (teenagers side) or white (elders side). The strength of the roof as a unifying device is reinforced by using the same rhythm of linear fluorescent lighting into the interior spaces (T-5 tubes on dimmers). Transparency is augmented by opening completely the view from one end to the other on the long axis and by using low-iron glass. Specific uses and functions have been integrated into freestanding built-in units that are formally mute to dissimulate the contingencies of daily life.

The project is not about the faithful restoration of a monument. It is an interpretation trying to touch and communicate the essence of an artistic vision formulated by someone else in response to a world that is no longer the same. Musicians do this every day.

Mies van der Rohe gas station on Nuns Island, Montreal Mies van der Rohe gas station on Nuns Island, Montreal Mies van der Rohe gas station on Nuns Island, Montreal

Mies van der Rohe Gas Station Conversion – Building Information

Project’s name: Reconversion de la station service de Mies van der Rohe à l’Île des Soeurs Localisation: 201 rue Berlioz, Verdun, Québec
Client: Arrondissement de Verdun
Architect: Éric Gauthier
Team: Marc Paradis, Dominique Potvin, Jaime Lopez, Steve Montpetit
Engineers: Aecom
Builder: Norgéreq
Cost: 1.4 M $
End of project: Septembre 2011
Photographer: Steve Montpetit
Source: v2com.biz

French text:

Station Service de Mies van der Rohe

Reconversion de la station service de Mies van der Rohe à l’Île des Soeurs

Montréal, le 16 février 2012 – L’urbanisation rapide de l’Île-des-Sœurs, consécutive à l’inauguration du Pont Champlain en 1962, a été largement dirigée par Metropolitan Structures qui fût l’un des principaux clients américains de Mies van der Rohe. L’agence de celui-ci fût ici impliquée dans la conception de trois immeubles résidentiels et d’une station-service pour la Standard Oil, qui fût opérée commercialement jusqu’en 2008.

Mies van der Rohe gas station on Nuns Island, Montreal Mies van der Rohe gas station on Nuns Island, Montreal Mies van der Rohe gas station on Nuns Island, Montreal

Le statut patrimonial qui lui fût conféré en 2009 par la Ville de Montréal a orienté la définition d’un projet de restauration et reconversion en centre communautaire intergénérationnel.Les aînés occupent le pavillon de mécanique automobile transformé en salle multifonctionnelle pour des activités de groupe variées incluant danse, bridge, yoga et banquets. Les jeunes obtiennent le pavillon de ventes pour tenir des activités sociales en présence d’éducateurs.

Il a tout d’abord fallu restaurer l’enveloppe du bâtiment puis mettre en œuvre des stratégies pour intégrer les nouveaux équipements mécaniques et électriques sans affecter la valeur patrimoniale du bâtiment. De nouveaux puits de géothermie fournissent la majeure partie de l’énergie requise pour chauffer et climatiser le bâtiment. Les gaines de ventilation circulant sous dalle sont également raccordées aux pompes à essence qui sont en fait des prises d’air frais. En tirant parti du principe du puits canadien, l’air est préchauffé (ou pré-refroidi) en circulant sous terre avant d’être admis dans le bâtiment.

Les interventions architecturales tentent de radicaliser les qualités inhérentes du bâtiment en accentuant la simplicité formelle, la continuité du toit et la transparence des pavillons. Les nouveaux équipements sont dissimulés à l’intérieur de blocs d’armoires, noirs chez les jeunes, blanc pour les aînés.

Mies van der Rohe gas station on Nuns Island, Montreal Mies van der Rohe gas station on Nuns Island, Montreal

Mies van der Rohe Gas Station Conversion – Fiche Technique

Nom officiel du projet : Reconversion de la station service de Mies van der Rohe à l’Île des Soeurs
Localisation: 201 rue Berlioz, Verdun, Québec
Nom du client: Arrondissement de Verdun
Architectes: Éric Gauthier
Équipe: Marc Paradis, Dominique Potvin, Jaime Lopez, Steve Montpetit
Ingénieurs: Aecom
Entrepreneurs: Norgéreq
Coût des travaux: 1.4 M $
Date de finalisation du projet: Septembre 2011
Photographe: Steve Montpetit

Reconversion de la station service de Mies van der Rohe à l’Île des Soeurs, Montréal images / information from Les architectes FABG

Les architectes FABG

Mies Van der Rohe


To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.

North American Buildings by Mies van der Rohe

Farnsworth House, Plano, Illinois, USA
1950
Farnsworth House
image © gm+ad architects
Farnsworth House

860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments, Chicago, Illinois, USA
1951
860-880 Lake Shore Drive Chicago
photo : William Zbaren
860-880 Lake Shore Drive

Montréal Buildings by Les architectes FABG – Selection

Théâtre de Quat’sous Building
Montreal Theatre Building
image from architect
Théâtre de Quat’sous Montréal

L’Assomption College – Sports Complex Building, near Montréal
L'Assomption College
photo : Steve Montpetit
L’Assomption College

Théâtre la Licorne, 4559 avenue Papineau, central Montréal
Théâtre la Licorne
photo : Steve Montpetit
Théâtre la Licorne Montréal

Montreal Architecture Walking Tours

Montreal Architecture – Selection

Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Provencher Roy + Associés architects
Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion
picture © Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion

McGill University Schulich School of Music – New Music Building, Montreal
Saucier + Perrotte
New Music Building Montreal
photograph : Marc Cramer

McGill University Schulich School of Music

Palais des Congrés, Place Jean-Paul Riopelle
Realisation: Les architectes Tétrault, Dubuc, Saia et associés
Hal Ingberg architecte (Independant architectural consultant and co-designer)
Montreal building
picture : Hal Ingberg

Palais des Congrés Montreal

Mies van der Rohe Awards

Canadian Buildings

Canadian Architects

Montreal Architects

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