Project Pilote by ACT Architecture Design Inc. team was a considerable challenge to say the least. The architects had the ambitious task of creating a bar, restaurant, urban microbrewery and microdistillery all rolled into one cohesive space.
Pilote is in the urban neighborhood of Montreal’s Plateau-du-Mont-Royal, the site lacks the usual characteristics of post-industrial spaces which typically accommodate such a large establishment. Therefore, the challenge was to figure out how to harbor the 16 1200L fermentation and service tanks for the micro-brewery, the 2 grain alcohol distillery tanks with adjoining reflux still held aloft by an impressive 21 ft. tall column, all while providing sufficient space to welcome customers.
In order to conserve as much space as possible for the restaurant, the technical equipment is placed on a suspended platform attached to the steel structure. A new, completely independent structure is created to support the tanks and the 20,000L of liquid they will contain.
A series of glass-enclosed architectural frames along the platform bring rhythm to this catwalk, while the selected copper finishing accentuates the prominent tanks, side-stepping the usual, clinical aspect of standard stainless steel.
Local products are at the fore on the artisanal menu, thus demanding a rooftop vegetable garden. This crucial addition is twofold: by fully celebrating produce grown on the premises, this allows the restaurant portion of the project to minimize the required space for back-stock and cooking prep necessary within a compact environment.
Despite the technical complexity of the project, and the omnipresence of malting equipment, the usual industrial aesthetic instead celebrates the organic and craft-inspired aspects of the distillation process. Thus, the inclusion of natural materials and forms such as oak wood, plants, and curves are highlighted throughout the décor.
The open kitchen, the platform with the exposed service tanks, as well as the vertiginous reflux still, allow the customer to marvel at the artisanal expertise at the heart of the process.
Project: Project Pilote
Architects: ACT Architecture Design Inc.
Location: rue Rachel, Montréal