Tag Archives: architecture

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe gas station

While I was over on Nuns Island Tuesday, I decided to check out the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe gas station.

The gas station was built in 1969 following the urbanization of Nuns Island that resulted from the Champlain bridge opening. The new community led, in 1966, to a commission from Standard Oil to design a gas station. The design incorporated 2 distinct areas: On one side there was a car servicing area and the other a sales outlet with a central pump island covered by a low steel roof. At some point the sales area was converted to a car wash.

The building continued to operate as a filling station until 2008. I wish I had discovered this piece of Montreal history while it was still operating as a gas station, but thankfully it has been preserved for future generations to enjoy the structure.

In 2009, the City of Montreal listed it as a heritage building before the building underwent renovation and now houses a youth and senior activity centre. It’s nice that they kept the configuration as the original, including the pump island and attendant area.

The conversion was designed by Montreal architectural firm Les architectes FABG. The firm has been responsible for a number of major projects around the city, including the Biosphère conversion (1994), Centre CDP Capital offices (2003), the Théatre de Quat’sous (2009) and Stewart Museum (2011) among many other well known landmarks around the city.


Mies van der Rohe gas station

Mies van der Rohe gas station
ISO 100 – 15mm – f6.3 – 1/320 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)


Mies van der Rohe gas station

Mies van der Rohe gas station
ISO 100 – 11mm – f4.5 – 1/640 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)


Mies van der Rohe gas station

Mies van der Rohe gas station
ISO 100 – 10mm – f4.5 – 1/1000 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)


I hope one day to revisit and shoot the gas station at night, as the bare fluorescent tubes really bring the building to life.

Mies Van der Rohe also designed Westmount Square in Montreal, which I shot back in 2012.

A couple of shots from La Prairie

Following my visit to Nuns Island, I continued over the Champlain Bridge to Brossard on the South shore and stopped at a small marina at the end of rue du Quai in La Prairie. I had wanted to get a few more shots of the Champlain Bridge but ended up driving a bit too far for that.

Although the main seaway is on the other side of a bank, boats heading to lake Ontario divert via a channel between the bank and the South Shore (in order to navigate past the rapids in the main Saint Lawrence river). I was in luck that a cargo ship was passing by while I was there.

Rue du Quai, La Prairie

Rue du Quai, La Prairie
ISO 100 – 20mm – f5.6 – 1/1600 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)


Plus there was a sail boat that made for a nice shot with the skyline of Montreal in the distance.

Montreal skyline from La Prairie

Montreal skyline from La Prairie
ISO 100 – 165mm – f7.1 – 1/640 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)


Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

– Martin

Montréal in Pictures

Your virtual guide in and around Montréal


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