The Story

Montreal is a topography in great transition. Through the cyclical environment of cause and effect, the city roots itself in a topography of layering, establishing the grounds for future growth and development. Once-new textures become old and are eventually reclaimed into the new again. Buildings become responsive yet progressive and the existing landscape is celebrated through its adaptation.

The topography of the new Shopify Montreal office is the result of an adapted site and a complex program. Within each of these programmatic elements exist a series of influences such as light, sound, and the need for private and public settings. Together, these influences determine the location of nodes to which the more secondary architectural moves yield and support.

Through this process, gradients emerge in both program and materiality. Materials and textures are used to reveal and conceal, while volumes evolve from steps into seating and further into collaborative lookouts. Niches are carved out beneath these summits while relics from the existing building are adapted for inhabitation in new ways.

The topography of Shopify Montreal mirrors the city that surrounds it. The space roots itself in a series of spatial rhythms, offset by unexpected apexes that emphasize relationships between the ground and sky. With climbing as a frequent theme, users are invited to discover spaces to tuck away or be on display. It is through the movement from one to the other that users experience the true topography of their spaces, seamlessly transitioning from private to public, ground to apex. Views of the surrounding Montreal landscape are optimized to reconnect users to the outside environment. These views are framed by casual and open spaces where individuals can reflect introspectively or discuss ideas in a group setting; taking advantage of naturals light and the active environment beyond the glass.

Common spaces are designed to invite creative adaptation, allowing users to host meetings, hear lectures or work independently all in the same space. As designers, we design for the the scenarios we anticipate, but provide the opportunity for those which have yet to be fathomed. Through the exploration of these, in addition to a plethora of other layers, the topography of Shopify Montreal is the result of many moments that work together to form a landscape for interaction.

Photography: Claude-Simon Langlois
Image 15: Cindy Boyce
Construction: Marfoliga