National Bank of Canada Montreal Trading Floor, Montreal, Quebec
This fall, the National Bank of Canada unveiled its new trading floor in Montreal’s Sun Life Building. The trading floor is the financial institution’s nerve centre, where traders complete transactions for the bank and its clients. The facility remains the largest active trading floor in Quebec.
The room is an exceptional heritage space, with features such as columns, marble cladding, a ceiling lavishly decorated with gold leaf and a large skylight. Despite these rich details, the trading floor was dark and uncomfortable. It had been 20 years since the space was last renovated, and it needed to be modernized.
The Montreal office of Architecture49 won the architectural contract to design a well-lit, comfortable, technologically modern space for 256 traders and managers. The integrity of the unique space had to be safeguarded at every stage from design to construction. The designers opted for the targeted use of colours and textures as a means of highlighting the room’s historic character. The impressive glass skylight was cleaned, restored and fitted with more efficient lighting fixtures; it now delivers ample light to the floor.
Contemporary elements, such as glass dividers for the private offices on the perimeter, allow occupants to enjoy considerable natural light, even in the very centre of the space. Special attention was paid to the room’s acoustics, which were tailored to allow traders to share the bustling open-concept space peacefully. The restoration and enhancement of the ceiling details, columns and bronze railings finally returned the space, built in 1917, to its rightful glory.