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.
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.
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.
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).
To view images in gallery format, simply click on one of the images below.
Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.