With only a few weeks until the reopening of Le Germain Hotel Montréal, Zébulon Perron, who imagined the new look of the hotel’s restaurant (Le Boulevardier Restaurant) and bar (Flâneur Bar Lounge), gave us a tour of his workshop to show us the colors, textures and inspirations behind this colossal project.
''We are a small Quebecer company and Germain Hôtels is a big player in the hospitality industry. Working with a company such as Germain Hôtels is definitely aligned with our values and mission'', admits Zébulon Perron, when asked why they accepted to work on this important project, even though he is very (very!) busy.
''Le Germain Hotel Montréal is a nice brutalist building. It is a very typical architecture of the sixties. It inspired us a lot for the design.''
You need to know that LemayMichaud, the architect firm working with Germain Hôtels on many big projects such as Le Germain Hotel Montréal, elaborated a theme around the sixties and Expo 67 for the new décor of the hotel.
If Zébulon Perron’s team stayed within this state of mind, there will not be any specific references to this era in the design of the restaurant and the bar. ''It won’t be a pastiche. The idea was to get our inspiration from this specific era, and then create a more modern version of it.''
But how do you take a theme inspired by the past and not make it look like it is already dated? By choosing modern materials and keeping things elegant.
''There will be a lot of concrete. We will contrast it with noble materials such as marble, velvet, solid wood'', explains the designer.
So, what can we expect of this new restaurant? ''We want to be somewhere in between conviviality and elegance. We want to create spaces that will not intimidate guests. It won’t be flashy luxury. We want people to inhabit these spaces, not just look at them.''
To do so, Zébulon Perron’s team decided to bring forth the kitchen, to open it so we can see the cooks working. They also changed the location of the staircase (you might remember it to be in the heart of the lobby, leading to the dining room upstairs). ''The stairs will be more inviting, larger, and closer to the front desk. The goal is to show people that something is happening upstairs!''