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Édifice des Commissaires – 357 rue de la Commune Ouest

Montréal, Québec

Photo credits : Vincent Brière


Propriétés Terra Incognita Inc.

Type of use

Office building

Year of construction


Work type

Rehabilitation of existing building


25 M$

Built in 1876 to plans by architects A.C. Hutchison and J.W. Hopkins, the Édifice des Commissaires, with its tower that dominates the Rue de la Commune, is one of Montreal’s most striking heritage buildings. Abandoned for many years, its new owner decided in 1997 to proceed with a high quality renovation and a complete redevelopment, while numerous structural interventions proved to be necessary.

The building had significant cracks that required an exhaustive review of the foundations that rested on the heterogeneous 1 to 2 m fill installed over the years to reclaim area from the river. The entire building had to be underpinned; the exterior walls and interior bearing walls were extended by a depth of 1 to 2 m, thereby enabling the basement to be dug to a level compatible with the waters of the St. Lawrence.

The original wooden floors were showing significant deformation and a completely new steel frame was introduced. The interior brick and rubble walls were maintained as load-bearing but reinforced where necessary. When the work began, a fire destroyed the dome and the mansard roof. The roof therefore had to be redone and the original dome was reconstituted on a metal frame. This allowed for the introduction of floors that did not exist before. At the rear of the building, a mechanical room was installed in the basement, a garage on the ground floor and an exercise pool upstairs. This pool is topped by a fully glazed portal frame.

NCK provided full structural engineering services for the complete renovation and redevelopment of the building.