This building from the '70s in Québec City has reclaimed its former glory by undergoing a successful transformation into a new hotel, with a carefully designed interior that is pleasant and efficient, simple and pure.
In fact, this former Holiday Inn in the Saint-Roch district bears the name Pur and has re-opened after many months of renovations carried out by Bisson | associés.
The windows in the two adjoining buildings have been completely redone to create a façade that is both more contemporary and more suited to the buildings' original lines. Furthermore, these large-paneled tinted windows can be fitted with air-conditioning systems yet still let in all the brightness from outdoors and provide views of the diversity in the streets below.
Instead of a large and pretentious lobby that dates back to another time, the hotel's owner, Willow Hotels (who also owns New York's Shoreham, Franklin and Mansfield hotels) requested that the architects divide the space into various functional areas and incorporate a signature element.
In this white and sparse area, they installed a sculpture-bench in moulded and formed steel that leads guests to the reception desk while doubling as a divider for the adjoining sitting area. The lines of this bench are continued in the shape of the chairs that furnish these spaces.
Beyond the whiteness in the entrance, the hallways on the upper floors sit in half-shadows. The darkness is meant to reinforce the impact of the natural light and the view upon opening the door to the rooms. For this same reason, the beds in most rooms face the windows and are framed with a headboard behind which sits a work area. The linearity of the entire space is held together by the carpet with geometric lines, by neutral colours and basic materials.
The interesting aspect of this hotel (other than its location in a lively district) is the right balance between indoor and outdoor, between design and efficiency. It is not a luxury hotel with a flamboyant style, and nor are the rates outrageous (roughly $200). The Hôtel Pur represents an interesting example of what an accessible, modern and comfortable city hotel should be today.
395 de la Couronne
Concept and implementation: Bisson | associés, architects
Projet manager: Jonathan Bisson, architect
Head designer: Caroline Lajoie, architect
Assistant designer: Julie Dubé, architect
Assistant project manager (on site): Christian D. Boisvert