Under Threat: Great Hall, Tour de la Bourse
by Luigi Moretti and Pier Luigi Nervi, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1964
DATE: 28/11/2017
The Tour de la Bourse (Stock Exchange Tower) is a 48-story tower located at the intersection of Victoria Square and St. Jacques Street, the tallest building in Canada upon completion; today it is the third tallest in Montréal, and has a significant place in the history of architecture and of civil engineering. Pre-cast concrete columns at the building’s four corners frame aluminum curtain walls, which were renovated in 1995. The building is divided into three horizontally and features an impressive hall at ground level, with a downward winding staircase wrapped around a glass chandelier.

In the 1990s, plans were proposed to remove the staircase in the great hall, allowing a better line of sight to the commercial facilities at basement level. These were rejected after the intervention of Docomomo Quebec and other conservation organisations. However, the plans seem to have re-emerged and the hall is once again under threat. The staircase is an important and geometrically sophisticated architectural element of the Tour de la Bourse, with its detail repeated in the ceiling, and its removal would fundamentally alter the nature of the great hall.

The ground-breaking work of both architect Moretti and engineer Nervi has been recognized in recent exhibitions and publications, with retrospectives being held at MAXXI in Rome and the CIVA Foundation in Brussels respectively. 

Docomomo International wishes to express its full support for all the efforts that may be carried out in order to respect the integrity of the original building, taking into consideration the history of the Tour de la Bourse and the will to maintain its authenticity for future generations.