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ERA Architects


Îlot Bonsecours – PHI Contemporain

archival photo of historic stone buildings
photo of historic stone buildings and chapel
Collage of and archival photo of a stone building and an illustration of the neighbouring chapel
Archival photo of historic stone buildings with people out front
birds-eye view of building site, with numbers indicating specific buildings
image of one spread from a written report

Îlot Bonsecours – PHI Contemporain

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Located in the heart of the Old Montreal heritage site, the “Îlot Bonsecours” is a group of four historic buildings, notably the Calvet House and its annex, the Davies Store and the Viger House, which have been combined in recent decades to become the Auberge Pierre du Calvet, among others. In addition to those, there is a vacant space which, until the early 1960s, housed two other historic buildings, the Del Vecchio House and the Delisle warehouse-store. The site is bounded by Bonsecours Street to the east, Notre-Dame Street to the north and Saint-Paul Street East to the south, and faces the Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours Chapel.

The PHI Foundation commissioned ERA to carry out a heritage study of this ensemble prior to its adaptive reuse as a new cultural center. The ensemble includes the Calvet house, an iconic building in Old Montreal and a notable example of the urban house typology of 18th century New France. In the absence of any heritage status or statement of heritage significance, the first step was to document the evolution of the site, as well as to identify its heritage values and the character-defining elements. The second objective was to understand the challenges involved in the adaptive reuse of the site and to identify the conservation guidelines and approaches for the site as a whole, as well for each building.

The study was used as a reference during the international architecture competition “Phi Contemporary”, to guide the reflection of the design teams on the future of the site. It will continue to be consulted in the future stages of the redevelopment of the site, especially by the decision-making bodies, notably the City of Montreal and the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec (MCCQ).

ERA was also part of the technical committee established by PHI as heritage conservation expert tasked with evaluating the proposals submitted by the finalists of the architectural competition.

In July 2022, PHI announced the winners of the international architecture competition “PHI Contemporary”.  The German firm Kuehn Malvezzi in consortium with the Québec firms Pelletier de Fontenay and Jodoin Lamarre Pratte are working on the implementation of the proposal. ERA continues to provide conservation expertise to the project team.

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