seele realized the 688sqm glass roof at the Place Ville Marie in Montreal, Canada

45 x 15m

glass roof with two canopies

15 x 2.5m

laminated safety glass


door sets in total

Grand Hall in Montreal - seele's first all-glass construction in Canada

Place Ville Marie is located at the heart of downtown Montreal directly adjacent to the Boulevard René-Lévesque. The esplanade of Place Ville Marie offers a direct access to an underground food hall and shopping centre. Between 2018 and 2019 the complex underwent an ambitious revitalization to create one of Montreal’s major urban gathering places. The four roof lights of the esplanade were replaced by an impressive glass pavilion leading to a future garden at the core of the new underground commercial area.

  • seele was commissioned with the design and construction of a 45 x 15m glass roof positioned about 1.2m above ground level. This 688sqm roof is made up of insulating glass units measuring 15 x 2.5m. These panes are supported on 8- and 14-ply laminated glass beams 14.47m long x 0.9m deep. In addition, seele was responsible for the entrance façades to the shopping mall with their double-leaf side-hung doors and vestibules. The Grand Hall Montreal project enabled seele to demonstrate its structural glass skills in Canada as well. The huge panes of glass for the roof create a feeling of transparency and spaciousness and thus lend the Place Ville Marie more appeal as a central venue.

    Header image: © Sid Lee Architecture & MSDL

  • All-glass structure for Grand Hall at Place Ville Marie in Montreal made by seele
  • The roof made by seele is made up of just 18 insulating glass units
  • 630sqm glass roof for Grand Hall at Place Ville Marie in Montreal made by seele
All-glass structure for Grand Hall at Place Ville Marie in Montreal made by seele
© Sid Lee Architecture
The roof made by seele is made up of just 18 insulating glass units
© Sid Lee Architecture
630sqm glass roof for Grand Hall at Place Ville Marie in Montreal made by seele
© Techniverre

Weightless design with 4.7t of laminated glass

Steel beams (provided by others) on both sides of the roof form the primary structure for the roof glazing. These beams support the glass beams made up of 8-ply laminated glass which in turn support the individual 15m long panes of glass. The resulting vast transparent area will give visitors underneath the feeling of being in the open air. The canopies at both ends are further striking features. They cantilever 2.5 and 4.2m beyond the entrance façades and consist of huge panes of glass measuring 15 x 2.10m or 2.50m. These canopies are not supported by the primary steel beams, instead by glass beams made up of 14-ply laminated glass that continue in the line of the steel beams on both sides.

nav-left-arrow nav-right-arrow
Two of the 8-ply laminated glass beams for supporting the roof glazing.
The beams between the roof panes are made from 8-ply laminated glass. The canopies are supported by beams made from 14-ply laminated glass. These line up with the steel beams and are connected by further beams.
The panes of glass for the canopies are mounted on glass beams that cantilever up to 4.2m beyond the entrance façade.

project diary

Installation progress at Grand Hall in Montreal

From July to December 2018, seele installed the largest glass elements ever used for an all-glass structure in Canada. They are 15m long and only supported by 8-ply glass beams. A special focus is on the canopies at both ends which cantilever 4.2m above the entrance façade and are supported by 14-ply glass beams.

  • 01/02/2019
  • 14/12/2018
  • 13/11/2018
  • 11/09/2018
  • 17/08/2018
  • 17/07/2018
  • 11/07/2018
nav-left-arrow nav-right-arrow


Completed glass roof


By the end of December, all work had been successfully completed by seele. Now the surrounding square and the food hall in the basement will be completed. © Techniverre


The assembly of the 18 insulating glass units for the roof structure has begun. © Techniverre


Already five of the 15m long 8-ply glass laminates were installed with highest precision. Despite the enormous dimensions, assembly is progressing well.


The installation of the entrance façades is in full swing. The installation of the glass beams for the roof construction will start shortly.


Even the oversized glass panels are already delivered. The handling of the crates requires precision work, because space on the construction site is limited.


Construction on site has begun: the substructure for the north façade is currently being assembled. In addition, the mobile crane required for glass assembly has already arrived at the construction site.


Client Ivanhoé Cambridge
General contractor Pomerleau
Main contractor NCK
Architect Sid Lee Architecture & MSDL
Engineer NCK
Date of completion 2019
Scope of work by seele

Design, production and installation of a 45 x 15m glass roof with two canopies

  • Insulating glass units equal to the full width of the roof, 15 x 2.5m
  • Glass beams (8- or 14-ply laminated glass) measuring about 15m long x 0.9m deep for supporting the roof glazing
  • Canopy panes equal to the full width of the roof, 15 x 2.5m, laminated safety glass
  • 2 entrance areas with vestibules and 8 door sets in total
  • ENR Global Best Projects Award 2020 (specialty projects category)