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Crew Collective Co-Working Share Space – Montreal, Canada


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A café, a large co-working space and a company headquarters for a young startup. Nothing new in this combination, not even in the fact that this is all located in a re-purposed building.

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What does make the Crew Collective new set up so appealing is the building itself. It is the 1920s headquarters of the Royal Bank of Canada, on 360 rue St-Jacques, in Montréal, Québec, Canada.

crewoffices3This street-level floor of the RBC Tower Building, once the tallest building in the British Empire, is not just some bank branch, this is major edifice of financial prowess, a cathedral-like monument to money that was the custom way back then.

crwoffices8The bank tellers sat behind ornate glass in wooden pens under 50-foot vaulted, ornately painted ceilings dripping with chandeliers that shone their light on marble floors, intricate tiling and brass details.

crewoffices7All this has been left more or less intact. In a local magazine feature, Crew CEO and co-founder Mikael Cho was quoted as saying, simply: “We’re taking this old building and moving it into a new era of work.”
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Indeed, they did. A haven for freelancers and telecommuters, Crew’s new space offers members their own dedicated desk and others a desk-for-rent as available, plus many other services.
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Montreal-based architect, Henri Cleinge with team members Henri Cleinge and Paulette Taillefer completed this delicate yet massive ( 12,000 square feet or 1,115 square meters) project this spring and the space has been busy ever since.

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We love re-purposed buildings of any kind, but this is a particularly courageous and grand example of what can be done when the will – and the money – is there. – Tuija Seipell.

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