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Spotlight

Opening at Galeries de la Capitale

14 Mar 2018

Our new location at Galeries de la Capitale is the first net-zero energy store in Canada. Discover how innovation lends itself to the service of style.

 

When it opened in 1981, our original store at Galeries de la Capitale was the third Simons to be built. Its Roman-inspired exterior and interior dome enhanced the building's character.  But if our old store was a reference to the past, then we're diving headfirst into the future with our new design. With net-zero energy consumption, solar panels on the roof and in the parking lot, and geothermal wells in the ground, we've modernized to the max. Our new store is the first in Canada to produce as much energy as it uses.


TECHNOLOGY AT THE SERVICE OF STYLE 

“Building a net-zero energy store is the result of a six-year journey spent learning, understanding, and discussing our company’s role and responsibilities towards the environment.” 

- Peter Simons, co-owner and president of Simons

Combined technologies will reduce the store's energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In the mall's parking lot, 27 geothermal wells were dug that will generate the equivalent of 80,000 kWh of energy. A heat pump will extract warmth from the ground and transfer it in store for heating, or will remove heat from the store and send it back into the ground to keep the interior air-conditioned. The energy-recovering heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system combined with the LED lighting control program will also allow a 60% reduction in energy consumption compared to the previous location. 

The parking lot contains 133 spaces equipped with awnings on which you’ll find 1,020 double-sided solar panels that will capture direct as well as reflected light.  By combining all this with the 2,308 double-sided solar panels on the store’s roof, the solar electricity system will generate over 1,300,000 kWh/year, equalling the consumption of 50 houses. 

AN INSPIRING WORK OF ART

Simons called on Giorgia Volpe, a Brazilian artist who immigrated to Quebec, to produce a custom art installation for the new store. The 11-foot-by-20-foot piece entitled La Cime (The Peak) is composed of branches hanging at different heights in the skylight located at the centre of the store. It represents an inverted landscape composed of wooden branches that are covered in papier-mâché and fabric recycled by Simons customers and the design team. 

By wrapping the fragile and delicate branches that she gathered, Volpe wishes to illustrate certain actions like caring for, saving, and repairing nature. For the artist, textiles have the particularity of amassing these actions that convey memories in the present day. As a metaphor for the social fabric, the piece brings to mind our different cultural influences and identities, transforming them into a fabric web that reminds us of the importance of working together.

INTERIOR DESIGN DETAILS THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE 

Designed by Toronto-based design firm Designstead, the new 80,000-square-foot space is situated on one floor and divided into 2 sections, with women's fashion on one side, and men's fashion and Simons Maison on the other. Between these two spaces, you'll find accessories as well as a wide selection of shoes.

You'll find fitting rooms that reflect the personality of each department, clothing patterns on the wall of the Le 31 section, and diverse original works of art at Customer Service by artists Tania Girard Savoie and Elysanne Tremblay. In case you need to, you can pedal on the WeWatt stationary bikes in the I.FIV5 section to produce electricity and recharge your phone!

Project management and exterior architecture by Quebec-based architecture and design firm Lemay Michaud.

“Do Canadians believe that companies have a responsibility towards the communities in which they do business? Do Canadians make a conscious effort to shop at retailers that are making an effort? I hope so.”

-Peter Simons

CURIOUS TO KNOW MORE?
Visit us in store starting March 15! 

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