• Richard Davignon

The City of a Hundred Steeples

Updated: Aug 23, 2019

As an office, we are thrilled to say that our beloved office manager, Caroline Ruiz, has returned to the office after spending some time in Montreal! While there, her photog boyfriend snapped a few shots of the famed Notre-Dame Basilica, and we’re all still swooning (see above).

Montreal is held in reverie of Davignon Martin’s collective. Richard’s family has a long lineage in Quebec and was practically the first to settle in the Richelieu area. Beyond Richard’s family history and his fond memories of the metro, watching the Expos, McGill University, old Montreal, St-Viateur (and the list goes on), Montreal holds a vast amount of history in general. I think it’s safe to say that it holds a special spot in most of our hearts as being an incredible source of design inspiration and Canadian culture. It is one of the oldest in the country, after all.

As Canada’s largest city for more than a century, the city has experienced massive growth of municipal infrastructure; in fact, arguably, transportation is the foundation of Montreal. Canada’s first steam powered vessel was built in Montreal. The Canadian Pacific Railway called Montreal headquarters. It is home to Canada’s first skyscraper (at a whopping eight storeys), and it is even the home of the world’s first dedicated hockey facility. And, it is one of the few cities in Canada that is home to such historical infrastructure as bath houses. More on this shortly.

All of our projects at DMA have a fascinating component of some kind – whether it’s a story, a locale, a client’s vision, or a social impact; whatever it is, we grow that into a project’s “raison d’être”. We have talked about this idea before and you can read more about it on our website, but in sum: we try to create designs with lasting power from the soul up, and this big idea drives it. Not all projects are realized, though, some of them take a long time and some of them fall by the wayside for a variety of reasons. We’re reviving a few of those projects in our office.

Back to Montreal – meet the Hogan Bath House.


Most working-class neighborhoods of the early 1900s have one; a bath house. They were established in response to rapid growth and insufficient wealth of the working-class to maintain personal hygiene. With the eventual growth of prosperity grew the normalization of tubs and toilets in homes, and eventually many of the bath houses became defunct. Some have already been converted into theatres, or are re-purposed as event venues. Hogan’s Bath has now since been converted into residential properties, and at one point, we were approached to get involved.

For those of you who follow along with us on Instagram, you may have noticed lately that we have been developing a bit of a portfolio on there. With two homes and a restaurant already posted, we are in the process of posting an optometry clinic, and soon we will be featuring some of these blast-from-the-past projects to showcase our passion of international design. Obviously we are starting a little more close to home with the Montreal bath house project.

In any case, if you can tear your eyes away from Jacob’s photo above for a couple of minutes, enjoy a preview of our Montreal project below. Flexibility in a small space is king, consideration to use as holiday home is priority, and creature comforts are appreciated.

Ellysa Evans, Jr. Interior Designer Davignon Martin Architecture + Interior Design

P.S. If you see or hear from Caroline in the next little while – welcome her back home!


More to come, stay tuned and follow along on instagram!

#revitilization #design #portfolio #history #historyofdesign #architecture #culture #renovation #Innovation #Heritage #interiordesign #montreal #inspiration #instagram