Montreal-based interdisciplinary design studio MARK+VIVI completed their first project located in the transitioning city of Verdun, Quebec. The Tire Shop, a renovated 800 sq.feet space, a former tire shop, functioned as the designers’ live/work studio and housed La Façade Art + Architecture, a storefront gallery dedicated to the exhibition of local contemporary art and experimental architecture.

Originally built in 1920, the Tire Shop’s newly exposed structure supports the playful integration of simple, raw, modern, industrial materials with smart and efficient design.

“We have had an overwhelmingly positive response from our neighborhood” say designers Mark Fekete and Viviana de Loera. “We wanted to create a home that served as a catalyst for the design community while providing opportunities for local artists who would otherwise not have a chance to exhibit their work”.

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La Facade – Storefront window gallery

The ground level functions as a work studio as well as a living/ dining space. The space consists of a long high table and stools with an open kitchen on one side and a wall filled with artwork and books on the other side stimulating interesting conversations and creative explorations

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Layouts

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Living/ Work Space

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Open Kitchen

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Kitchen Detail

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Powder Room Detail

The second level consists of the master bedroom attached with a master bathroom and walking closet. The bedroom walls are predominantly white in colour and it is bare minimalist with a basic bed and side tables. The most interesting thing about the bathroom is the absence of a door, which is replaced by a simple white curtain.

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Master Bedroom

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Master Bathroom

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Master Bathroom Details

The Tire Shop utilises natural light extensively, while its compact size means that only small amounts of energy are required to heat or cool the interior. Internal floors, shelving and cabinetry are all built using locally sourced Canadian plywood.

All painted and exposed surfaces, such as walls, floors and furniture are finished in low VOC treatments.

Doors and windows have all been replaced. Windows are now double glazed, low-E units. The main front window is commercial grade storefront glazing.

All heating and cooling is provided by an energy-efficient 12,000 btu interior wall-mounted inverter ducted system. An independent energy consumption analysis found that the Tire Shop consumes approximately 35-50% less energy than similarly sized homes in the city.

With a strong commitment to sustainable living, Fekete and de Loera state, “One of the greatest sustainable aspects of our building is not what was used to revitalise it but rather how we live because of it. Coming from California, we realised the incredible waste of time and natural resources involved in daily commuting, not to mention the pollution. Living in Montreal, our goal is to eliminate our dependency on the car and to turn to public transportation. So, now we work from home and do our part in eliminating vehicular pollution. The time we save not sitting in traffic is better spent becoming acquainted with our neighborhoods, supporting local businesses, and living an overall healthier lifestyle.”

After working for various architecture firms in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the two moved to Montreal, Mark’s home town. Upon their arrival, they spent a year exploring transitioning neighborhoods in search of projects they could “have fun” with. Once asked what their mission was, Fekete replied “We’d like to help revitalize our city one building at a time.”

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