Montreal – Luc Laporte was here

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.


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.


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.

  1. I dined at L’Express on many occasions. Always enjoyed the small space where the specific smell of great French bistro food greets you the instant you enter the place. Never knew it was designed by the local architect. Laporte certainly left his mark in the lively neighbourhood. Merci d’avoir partagé cette information.

  2. a lovely tribute, LIsa :)) beautiful photography, too … nice to spend a few minutes of my afternoon in montreal, while sitting at home in Toronto 🙂

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