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Monthly Archives: May 2013

ztjacob6Students at Canada’s Trent University, a masterwork of 1960s modernism, lounging on Swan chairs by the great Danish designer, Arne Jacobsen.   Did they know how cool they were?

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An archival photo of one of the Trent lounges, graced by Jacobsen Swan chairs around an Eero Saarinen table. Built-in furniture and modular wood chandelier by Canadian great, Ron Thom.

img_4134As my homage to the vast collection of mid-century furniture that once flourished then disappeared at Trent, here’s a tribute with some of the chairs I’ve been collecting for a while, and the joy that they bring.

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Restaurant L'ExpressL’Express, a Montreal classic on rue St. Denis, where the ambience and bifteak with frites are a rare treat.  (Photo: Andre Cornellier.)

IMG_1371The 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.

IMG_1360Spring flowers at L’Express, planted with a hint of the kitsch and the bohemian spirit of the 1970s.

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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.

IMG_1344Arthur 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.

IMG_1354Owner of Arthur Quentin,  Renée Fournier, looking out from her boutique onto St. Denis, with L’Express across the street.

IMG_1316Inside 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.)

IMG_1323Books in Laporte’s studio – not surprisingly, Eileen Gray, a great designer of exquisite small spaces, features among them.

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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.