Hotel William GrayWill Speros • January 18, 2017
Located steps away from Montreal’s famed Place Jacques-Cartier and Old Port, two 18th-century structures—Maison Edward-William Gray and Maison Cherrier—have been crowned with an eight-story glass tower by local firm Béïque Legault Thuot Architectes (BLTA) to create the Hotel William Gray.
Inside, the warm, residential atmosphere by local studio CAMDI Design aptly draws its spirit from Old Montreal and its unique community of artisans—think wood, brick, leather, stone, and bookshelves filled with unique finds. “The diversity in furniture and spaces allows visitors to relax by the marble fireplace, to work at the communal tables, to play pool, to listen to music, to read, or simply to have a cocktail accompanied by good friends and coworkers in a classic yet modern décor where everyone feels welcome,” explains Pierre Brousseau, president and creative director of CAMDI Design.
Yet the anchor of the lobby: a central light fixture comprised of a series of pendant lights that does double duty as a striking aerial sculpture. “The art production created by the light fixtures can be seen from all of the lobby floors, at night resembling a starry-sky, bringing a ferric atmosphere to visitors,” says BLTA partner Denis C. Blais.
The lobby flows organically across three open floors connected by a grand central staircase that provides access to 10,000 square feet of event space and a courtyard garden. The hotel also boasts retail spaces, a café, spa, an outdoor rooftop terrace boasting intimate, picturesque views of the Old Port, and restaurant Maggie Oakes. Set through an entrance awash in wood, the 180-seat eatery is outfitted with a green wall, serving as a spice garden for the chef and a vital splash of color against an abundance of brown—in wood furniture, leatherette walls—and the black and white marble of the bar, which “provides a chic, classic, and timeless allure,” Brousseau says.
Maintaining the hotel’s coziness, guestrooms in the Maison Edward-William Gray exude femininity with lighter materials and finishes that reference the architecture of the original white buildings with light white oak floors and white walls. Sheer curtains contrast industrial touches like concrete ceilings and black metal fixtures in the main building's accommodations. Locally sourced colorful seating disrupts the monochrome palette as does local artwork.
“The end result had to be warm and welcoming, high-end, and unique to Montreal,” Brousseau adds. “It was important to work with local artists and artisans and really showcase their expertise.”