Convert It: The Darling Foundry, Montreal

Good Morning!

As some of you know I spent the Labour day long weekend with some of my girlfriends in Montreal.  Lots of food, wine and fun in a great city. Such a great city especially the beautiful Old Montreal. In today’s Convert It post, I’m highlighting an adaptive reuse project in…you guessed it….Montreal! It’s the Darling Foundry buildings.

The Darling Foundry buildings were constructed between 1880 and 1909 by the Darling Brothers for their large metal works operations in Griffintown.  At one time, this foundry was the second most important foundry of Montreal, with more than more than 100,000 ft2 of space. The Darling got its nickname, “the snake,” from the elaborate rooftop ventilation system visible to passersby. The Darling Foundry continued to prosper until 1971, when it was sold to Pumps and Softerner.  The building remained in operation until 1991 and was then was abandoned for 10 years.  The group Quartier Ephémère, which was founded in the early 1990’s, stepped in and raised funds to create a compound of art galleries, artist studio’s and workshops in the old foundry.

Photo by Lori Zimmer via Inhabitat

The first phase which included Quartier Éphémère’s offices, and the two public exhibition galleries opened in 2002 and was designed by 02, and was conceived by the architects In Situ ( Phase 2, which houses artists  studios and workshops was designed by  the environmental architectural firm, “L’Œuf.

“Courte-Pointe” the visually bold installation at the entrance to the Foundry is by Philippe Allard and Justin Duchesneau, and is made from milk crates.

You can also rent out some of the space including the main hall shown below.  What a cool space for an event!

They also have an artist’s in residence program so artists from all over the world can come and create beautiful art at the Foundry.


Except where specified, all photos via Darling Foundry Page

On top of this being a really cool reuse of old buildings and preservation of the industrial history of Montreal, Quartier Éphémère’s vision for this place as a way to support and promote art in Montreal is pretty awesome.


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From Sweat to Sweet: School Gym Conversion

Good Morning!

With my love of making old into new again, you can guess that I’m a huge fan of home conversion projects.  I recently was reminded of this love when I caught an episode of the show You Live in What?  on HGTV where they provide home conversion projects from the fabulous to the weird and wacky.  Anyhow, it prompted me to find some new interesting conversion projects to feature on the blog.  Today’s home is a former school gym of a Victoria-era schoolhouse turned  into a unique apartment located in London, England.  However, currently no one actually lives here.  It’s (owned?) operated by JJ’s Location Studios and it is rented out for movies, photo shoots, events, and meetings.

I love the massively high curved ceilings and the gorgeous casement windows.  This place doesn’t lack in natural light, that is for sure.

I want that wire sailboat they have on the wall! I’m also a big fan of random old-school pics of people you don’t know…something about being able to imagine stories about who they might have been.

Photo’s via JJ Location Studio (found via Curbly)

Sadly there is no information on JJ Location’s website about who designed or photographed their conversion space.  However, the interesting mix of art, function and whimsy in this space is pretty cool.  Would I decorate this massive space differently?  Probably, but I still enjoy the spin that has been put on it.


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