Tag Archives: architecture

Picture post: blue skies and street lamps in Montreal

Montreal Place des arts street lamp_ A storytelling home

One of the funky, futuristic street lamps at the Place des festivals in downtown Montreal. Quartier des spectacles is the place to go for entertainment in Montreal. With more than 30 concert rooms, dozens of art galleries and a great contemporary art museum it’s the city’s cultural center.

Right in the middle of the entertainment district, the Place des festivals was developed in 2009 in order to accommodate many of the city’s large-scale festivals (the Jazz fest, Francofolies, Just for Laughs). It is easy to spot because of its’ clean, modern architecture and oddly shaped lamp posts. Those humongous structures have been very useful to my friends and I as meeting spots during big concert events!

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Untapped Cities: Quirky buildings of the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal

In my latest post for Untapped Cities, I published a second installment of my series on Montreal’s quirky buildings. The first one covered the structures built for the famous Expo 67 (1967 World fair). This time around I decided to present two very peculiar buildings that were constructed for another big event in Montreal’s history: the 1976 Summer Olympics. Check out the article here.

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The quirky buildings of Montreal: Expo 67

This week, Untapped Cities published a piece I wrote about the quirky buildings of Montreal. It will become a series and in this first installment, I wrote about the installations that were built for Expo 67 (the 1967 World Fair). To read it, click here.

Here are a few photos that I took in the same photo-shoot but that didn’t fit in the article:

Biosphere detail Montreal

The Montreal Biosphere

Saint-Lawrence river between Saint-Helen Island and Notre-Dame Island

The Saint-Lawrence river, passing between Saint-Helen Island and Notre-Dame island.

Notre-Dame Island

Winter at Park Jean-Drapeau.

Park Jean-Drapeau

Park Jean-Drapeau.

Montreal Casino

The Montreal Casino.

Park Jean-Drapeau

Park Jean-Drapeau.

Pont de la Concorde vue de Montréal

The view of Montreal from the Concorde Bridge.

Ice Saint-Lawrence river Montreal

Ice on the Saint-Lawrence river.

View of Montreal Saint-Lawrence river

A view of downtown Montreal taken near Habitat 67.

Downtown Montreal: Untapped Outtakes

I wrote another article for Untapped Cities: Downtown Montreal: the lavish mansions of the Golden Square Mile. (Click the link to read the full article)
It’s about how the former homes of the city’s late 19th century bourgeoisie, located in downtown Montreal, are being used today.
Here are some more photos of the area that I took whilst out for the photoshoot:
Streets of Montreal
Reflections in the windows of a building on Sherbrooke street west
The sky reflecting into the windows of a building on Sherbrooke Street West.
A building in the Golden Square Mile
A building in the Golden Square MIle
Mcgill campus
Buildings on the campus of Mcgill University.
Ravenscrag Montreal
Ravenscrag, a former mansion turned into a psychiatric institute.
Near Ravenscrag, Montreal
Ravenscrag’s beautiful premises.
Street art in Montreal
Street art on Prince-Arthur street.
Sky light Montreal
Carré Saint-Louis, Montréal
These colorful rooftops are not located in the Golden Square Mile. They are a bit farther east, at Carré Saint-Louis, where the francophone bourgeoisie lived during the same era when the Golden Square Mile was thriving (for anglophones).

The mural

It’s been a while since I’ve told an actual story about my home (the initial point of this blog). So here is one about the mural in my living room:

Ever since I was little, walls have been like blank canvases for me. They are just waiting to be drawn on. For most, it would be seen as improper or impolite to color outside the lines in that sense.

It’s never been like that for me. Hand me a paintbrush and I’ll cover every surface I possibly can!

I remember being 8 or 9, when my little brother and I closed the door to our shared room and gave it quite the makeover. Once our parents opened the door minutes later, we’d drawn all over the walls.

Most parents would’ve grounded their children for acting this way. Mine weren’t and I will be forever thankful for that. Those drawings and various quotes professing my love for the Backstreet boys stayed put until we moved out years later.

As a teen, I kept going with the self expression through murals. The poetry got deeper, the drawings more detailed. It didn’t always look nice but I sure did love writing punk song lyrics on my wall. I felt especially cool when I wrote the curse words.

After my teenage angst phase passed, I decided to go zen (white walls) and covered it all up for a while.

When I moved to Montreal 5 years ago, I had a room in a shared apartment with 2 other girls that I didn’t know beforehand. It only took a couple of months before we got comfortable with each other and became good friends. Once I felt more at ease, I got busy with the paint again. This time, I was exploring different shades and textures, more than anything concrete.

Now, that we own a place, I’m pretty much free to do what I want on the walls (my boyfriend can veto).

Though I have a lot of freedom and could do more if I wished, so far the only place in our house where I’ve drawn directly on the wall is in the living room. The back wall of the room is very wide and our ceilings are high, so it was a perfect spot for a unique mural.

At first I wanted to do a zany design, covering the whole wall à la Keith Haring, but I finally decided on a less intense drawing.

The initial outline came from an old design that I created a few years ago. As a visuals arts student in college, I always had a blank book at hand. Anytime I felt inspired, I’d take my Staedler pens out to doodle a bit.

I was inspired to draw this ensemble of buildings after reading a book about Austrian artist/architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser. In a way, he was to Austria what Antoni Gaudi was to Barcelona. He created colorful buildings that played along with the natural environment. Clearly, he wasn’t a fan of the straight line, which is both refreshing and rare for an architect.

I loved that, so I decided to create a fantasy city filled with such buildings. Wouldn’t life be a little bit more fun if more buildings really looked like this?

Hundertwasser designed this building that is located in Magdeburg, Germany. Source: Wikipedia

Since that is unlikely to happen any time soon, I decided to paint that colorful cityscape on my wall. It is my vision of a big city: twisted, funky, colorful, lively.

I love it. I think it makes for a fine mural that doesn’t make the room seem smaller, but that makes it all that much more colorful and fun.

To speed up the process in making it, I first drew the outlines with a pencil, then I went over them with a black paint pen.