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CAE, established in Montreal in 1954, is a world leader in modeling, simulation and training in the civil aviation and defence sectors. Having expanded over the years, it now occupies more than one million square feet of space in the city’s Saint-Laurent borough. This is an industrial complex where flight simulators are designed and manufactured. It is also home to a major training centre and to the company’s head office.

Concerned with the well-being of its 3,500 employees, the company wanted to establish a place for them to eat and relax, while serving the entire industrial complex. The project took shape in a new 15000 sq.ft. pavilion housing a cafeteria that can host up to 225 people, a commercial kitchen and a multipurpose space.

For this small building, with its outstanding energy performance, inspiration was drawn from the world of aviation. The façade’s steel panels evoke an aircraft fuselage or flight simulator, while the roof’s incline symbolizes an opening to the sky. The steel frame, exposed indoors, is treated as an integral part of the interior layout.

The cafeteria space is bathed in natural light thanks to its abundant window area and inclined ceiling. Wood, used in some items of furniture, brings warmth and comfort to its users.


  • Client: CAE
  • Year of Construction: 2011
  • Area: 15,000 sq. ft. ( 1,394 m² )
  • Cost of Construction: $3.1M
  • Team Members:

Rick Rubin

Andrew Tarassoff

Mallory Conway

  • General Contractor: Broccolini Construction


In collaboration with Urban Keios Design

Photos: Stéphane Brügger