Spotlighting BTB REIT’s Montreal HQ

Monday, May 27, 2019
By Jason Broadhurst

A stylish art deco building in a prime Montreal location provided its new owners, BTB Real Estate Investment Trust, with the opportunity for signature headquarters. After acquiring 1411 Crescent Street — an 85-year-old, low-rise office building with street-level retail in the city’s historic Golden Square Mile (Mille carré doré) — last year, the REIT’s own growing staff moved in.

The new owners also invested in bringing the building’s night-time image more in line with its daytime charm. At the time of purchase, none of the exterior lighting was functioning — rendering an architectural gem unremarkable in the darkness. Lighting designers with the Montreal-based LED supplier and service provider, Concept Illumination, helped return the sparkle.

“By working with the existing dimensions and architectural elements, we have been able to deliver a result that honours the historical significance of the structure,” says the project leader, Daniel Herz. “No matter at what angle you approach the building, it really stands out in its elegance.”

To do so, 30 existing halogen fixtures were removed and 20 new LED luminaires were installed. The differing widths of the facade columns presented some challenges, but the designers determined they could up-light them in a visually consistent way using two different sizes of architectural linear LED graze fixtures.

A 1-foot linear graze was installed for the narrower 3-foot columns; while a 4-foot graze covers off the 6-foot columns. Together, they assemble one foot of space on each side of every light beam. Visually, a single band of light shoots up each column, delivering a uniform look and ensuring there is no residual glare on the neighbouring windows.

The warmer light from 3000 Kelvin static white LEDs chosen for the project helps to enhance the building’s art deco features without overpowering them. The beam angle is equally important for showcasing unique architectural elements at the top and the carved features at the base of each building column.

Each linear LED luminaire has a 9-degree by 9-degree beam.”The tight 9-degree band of light [side to side] ensures there is no light spilling out on the nearby windows. And a similar 9-degree band [front to back] means the light is projected higher up the building,” Herz explains.

The project took just two days, but delivered a lasting look in keeping with the building’s longstanding presence in a dynamic area of the city. BTB REIT is hearing appreciative feedback from staff, clients, the other building tenants and Montrealers and tourists who are just passing by.

“We are really proud of the new lighting. The building is illuminated in a very charming way; it looks quite warm and natural,” says David Barbarush, Property Manager for BTB REIT. “Our president, Michel Léonard, is also extremely happy with the final product. It’s great for the image of our company.”

The preceding article was supplied by Concept Illumination. For more information, see the website at

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