From a distance, Off Plaza might look like a particularly elegant exemplar of your typical Montreal “plex” — a boxy duplex or triplex. But a closer look reveals that there’s more going on. The bottom level of the plaza is a commercial property made with steel beams and columns and bisected into two units. On top of this podium, eight stick-built residences surround a central courtyard that allows air circulation and stairway access. L. McComber’s careful spatial arrangements maximized the number of units on the tight 400-square-metre lot, and its material selection — textured St-Marc limestone on the bottom two floors and steel cladding on top — gives this multi-purpose building a sense of cohesiveness. There can be little doubt as to what the firm itself thinks of the project: It relocated its offices to one of the studios on the bottom floor.
Project Off Plaza Location Montreal, Canada Firm L. McComber (Canada) Team Laurent McComber and Olivier Lord with Patrice Lebel, David Grenier, Jeff Lee (Engel & Völkers), Gabriel Fortier-Roberge (Geniex) and Nicolas Rasselet (Nicora) Photos Raphaël Thibodeau
L. McComber’s Off Plaza in Montreal exemplifies gentle densification.