Project 365 – Day 257: Place Ville Marie turns 50

September 13 2012

Place Ville Marie (PVM) turned 50 today, so I thought it would be a good time to go and get some shots of this iconic address.

#1 Place Ville Marie is probably the best known skyscraper in Montreal. In addition to being one of the tallest buildings in the city, it is the only building in the downtown core designed in the shape of a crucifix and at night is probably best known for the rotating light that can be seen from over 50km away.

When it was designed it was only going to be 44 floors high, but an additional 3 floors were added to ensure it would be taller than the nearby CIBC tower that was built the same time.

Built as the Head Office of the Royal Bank of Canada, the bank remains a key tenant to this day, although the Head Office was relocated to Toronto in the 70’s.

The building’s top 3 floors is home to the Altitude 737 restaurant and nightclub (named for its elevation in feet from sea level).

PVM was one of the first designs of the architect team Henry N Cobb and I.M. Pei from New York. The design was fairly radical in that the shops were underground. People were unsure if it would work, but was the catalyst for what would become the largest underground city in the world.

#1 Place Ville Marie

#1 Place Ville Marie
ISO 160 – 10mm – f5.6 – 1/90 sec

PVM celebrates 50 years

PVM celebrates 50 years
ISO 100 – 20mm – f5.6 – 1/45 sec

At 617 feet, Place Ville Marie held the title of tallest Montreal building for just 2 years when in 1964 the Tour de la Bourse was completed and measured 623 feet. The tallest building in Montreal currently is 1000 de La Gauchetière at 673 feet.

1 PVM behind the Bay department store

1 PVM behind the Bay department store
ISO 100 – 70mm – f8 – 1/125 sec

Place Ville Marie

Place Ville Marie
ISO 100 – 85mm – f8 – 1/90 sec

Place Ville Marie from René Lévesque

Place Ville Marie from René Lévesque
ISO 100 – 70mm – f4.5 – 1/500 sec

#1 and #5 Place Vile Marie on René Lévesque

#1 and #5 Place Vile Marie on René Lévesque
ISO 100 – 18mm – f11 – 1/6o sec

#1 Place Ville Marie reflected on tower #5

#1 Place Ville Marie reflected on tower #5
ISO 100 – 14mm – f4.8 – 1/125 sec

entrance to #1 PVM from the central esplanade

entrance to #1 PVM from the central esplanade
ISO 100 – 13mm – f22 – 1/20 sec

#1 PVM from fountain and Femine Landscape sculpture

#1 PVM from fountain and Femine Landscape sculpture
ISO 100 – 11mm – f5.6 – 1/250 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)

Place Ville Marie

Place Ville Marie
ISO 160 – 11.5mm – f5.6 – 1/250 Sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)

#1 Place Ville Marie reflection in light

#1 Place Ville Marie reflection in light
ISO 100 – 70mm – f5.6 – 1/180 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)

#1 Place Ville Marie reflection in light

#1 Place Ville Marie reflection in light
ISO 100 – 98mm – f9.5 – 1/350 sec

I think the pyramid glass details on each of the 4 skylights above the underground food court is a nice reminder that I. M. Pei was the architect behind the pyramid of the Louvre in Paris.

Pyramid window light above food court below ground

Pyramid window light above food court below ground
ISO 100 – 116mm – f9.5 – 1/500 sec

This last picture is a little blurred due to the handheld 0.5 second exposure (I had problems getting either the building or the stone surface in focus anyway), but I quite like how it came out and think it is better with a slight blur than either the stone or the tower (or both) being in sharp focus).

#1 PVM reflected in polished stone

#1 PVM reflected in polished stone
ISO 100 – 70mm – f32 – 0.5 sec

To view images in gallery format, simply click on one of the images below.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

– Martin

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2 thoughts on “Project 365 – Day 257: Place Ville Marie turns 50

  1. Pingback: Project 365 – Day 289: Place du Canada « Montreal in Pictures

  2. Pingback: Project 365 – Day 298: Autoportrait by Nicolas Baier at Place Ville Marie « Montreal in Pictures

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