Most Montréalers recognize the Palais because of its colourful glass façade. A walk-around reveals each side has its own personality allowing it to integrate naturally with the area it is facing.
The Saint-Antoine façade interfaces with the city’s historic district. Its design borrows from the architectural tradition of Old Montréal, with the predominant use of Québec greystone contrasting with the glass. It incorporates three heritage buildings, whose façades were restored in 2015 and 2016 to preserve their integrity:
- Built in 1885, the Rogers and King building has a brick and stone façade. As a model of late Victorian architecture, its distinct façade is elaborate and ornate, owing to the mixed use of brick and the inclusion of cast iron. The Rogers and King company was famous for the Daisy boiler, a prototype of the hot water central heating system. Once a foundry, the building was converted in the 1940s, and in 2002, its façade was integrated into the expansion project of the Palais.
- Fire Station no 20 was constructed in 1908 by Louis-Roch Montbriand. With its clay brick and limestone façade, it is a fine example of the new architecture adopted by fire stations in the early 20th century.
- The Tramways building has been preserved in its entirety and integrated within the Palais expansion project. Built in 1928, the art deco building formerly housed the head office of the Montréal Urban Community Transit Commission. It is the work of architects Ross & MacDonald, regarded as one of Canada’s leading architecture firms at the time.
Modern yet inextricably linked to Montréal’s glorious past, the Palais des congrès de Montréal draws upon two centuries of architectural heritage timelining the various eras of the city’s rich history. It is the foundation upon which it looks to the future, by hosting major international meetings that are helping shape the world of tomorrow.