Explore a Dual Faceted Montreal Bar with Atelier Welldone

Explore a Dual Faceted Montreal Bar with Atelier Welldone

Project of the Week

If you love punchy colors, dark and moody interiors, and showcasing the utilization of space, today’s Project of the Week is for you! Today we’re checking out the Montreal bar Minéral by Blanchette Architectes. While the sun is in the sky, Minéral is a beautiful wine bar. Once night rolls around, it transitions into a club, where the darkness is cut by bold-hued LEDs.

Taking us on the tour of this great space is Atelier Welldone, a wonderfully talented agency comprised of Jean-Robin Tardif and Jean-Philippe Tanguay.

JR kicks things off by telling us “We were hired by Blanchette Architects with whom we are used to working with for pre-opening photoshoots. We knew they wanted to submit the project for a competition so the mandate was to show off what makes such a small space so special. In this case, it was how the mood of the space can be shaped by light. We only had one day for the whole shoot before the opening date so we had to be conscientious about our time management.”

JR notes “Before we begin shooting we always start by testing the practical lighting. Architects usually take a lot of time thinking about light so we wanted to present the project in the way they first imagined it. We then test different combinations of practical and natural light (if present). This allows us to assess what part of the room is better lit with natural or practical light fixtures and/or what section could benefit from being enhanced with a flash.”

Throughout this series, you’ll be able to see how this particular space changes depending on the time of day. JR and JP do a phenomenal job of conveying how the mood in Mineral is deeply impacted by light, and transforms the bar into essentially three distinct places. Mood is a powerful thing!

In regards to post-processing and equipment, he goes on to tell us; “Our post-processing is an extension of how we shoot. By having each frame with multiple lighting options, it allows us to reappropriate the images and manipulate the end result so it conveys the intended emotion. As for our equipment, we have been using the camranger2 for the past year and it has helped us a lot on set. It streamlines the workflow and allows us to be more mobile and work quicker.”

We can really start to see the evening ambiance start to shift in this darker, more moody view of Mineral. There are many great things happening in this image, from the lane our eyes are allowed to “walk” through in the center, to the richness of the colors and textures present. The directionality of the light is beautiful and helps carve out the shape of each element in the scene.

Now we’re transitioning into party mode! When I first saw this image, I knew I had to learn more about this project. While fairly simple, it shows off a little bit of everything that makes Mineral so special. JR and JP photographed this particular scene in a few different color variations, but the red was my favorite, and personally the most powerful.

What was the biggest problem they had to overcome on this shoot? JR explains “The main challenge was that the space was not ready to be photographed upon arrival. There was a lot of last-minute construction work being done on the day of the shooting: tiles, cable management and some finishing touches were still being worked on at the time we arrived and continued late into the afternoon. This caused us to start shooting 5-6 hours after the initial planned time.

“Otherwise we really wanted to show the different moods that could be created with the LED lights and the change from a cozy wine bar to a more intimate nightclub ambiance. At first, we wanted to use models to make the space feel more alive and give the nightclub vibe, but due to Covid19 restrictions, it wasn’t possible. Instead, we put ourselves in some of the images and then duplicated people in photoshop using multiple exposures.”

A massive Thank You to JP and JR from Atelier Welldone for sharing this project with us. Hop over to the website at bewelldone.com to check out more of their work!

If you have a project you’d like to be considered for Project of the Week, you can submit it here.

About Lexi Taciak
Howdy! I'm Lexi, a photographer, graphic designer, and writer.