L’Express, a Montreal classic on rue St. Denis, where the ambience and bifteak with frites are a rare treat. (Photo: Andre Cornellier.)
The Building as Sign. A commercial building renovated 33 years ago, L’Express is an instant stand-out for its glass archway, cream-coloured painted masonry and heated black and white tiles on front terrace that move seamlessly from the sidewalk inside.
Spring flowers at L’Express, planted with a hint of the kitsch and the bohemian spirit of the 1970s.
Laloux, another chic eatery by Laporte where he repeats some of his favourite design tropes: mirrors galore, black woodwork and wainscotting, cream-coloured walls and arched window.
Arthur Quentin, a glorious housewares boutique in Montreal lined in plywood with custom shelving, first designed by Laporte in 1975 and subsequently as a series of rooms made possible when the owner bought out the neighbours.
Owner of Arthur Quentin, Renée Fournier, looking out from her boutique onto St. Denis, with L’Express across the street.
Inside Luc Laporte’s live-work studio on Square Saint-Louis in Montreal’s Le Plateau neighbourhood. A space with boat-like efficiency and everything you need: some dishes, sugar and coffee. Most meals Laporte enjoyed at restaurants and cafes. (yes, he was single and without children.)
Books in Laporte’s studio – not surprisingly, Eileen Gray, a great designer of exquisite small spaces, features among them.
The plaque on the front facade of L’Express. A lot of architects say nothing at all with big buildings. Laporte said a lot about ways to satisfy our cravings for small social spaces.