Dose of Architecture – Point-a-Calliere


I know this building has been around for over a decade, but it is one that is well known by the architecture community outside of Quebec. So if you don’t know about it. Here are some points about it.

Pointe-a-Calliere was built in 1992. The building was designed by the renowned Montreal firm of Dan S. Hanganu Architects. The complex is composed of three elements: the Customs House, the crypt, and the “Eperon” shown in the photo. The general form of the Eperon mimics the form of the Royal Insurance Building which former sat on the site. Many elements of the building harken back to the past history of the site. The colonade at the cafe level is “reminiscent of a widow’s walk, a rooftop walkway from which a sailor’s widow would look out to sea.” The elements of the building also play on it’s archeology. “The squares in the slate floor and the ceiling of the lobby are evocative of the grids used by archaeologists in their work.” Overall the building creates a superb focal point on Quai la Commune toward the west end of the Old Port. If you have the opportunity, check out the building, the museum, and the bookstore in the Customs House. Also climb up to the top of the campanile for a nice view of the Old Port.

2 Comments so far

  1. TSS (unregistered) on December 1st, 2005 @ 12:48 pm

    Always fun to get some background info on our buildings… but just to let you know, the museum is near the west end of the old port, not the east.


  2. Frank (unregistered) on December 1st, 2005 @ 3:53 pm

    Thanks. I made the modification. I already have ideas for the next two doses. They will be better written that the first two. Stay tuned.

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