Diamond in the rough: Mercury Lounge

I love to study the design of various public spaces, checking out the dos and don'ts of design. I like to evaluate how spaces are designed, decorated and arranged, study the type material used and I think a lot about what works, what doesn't work and how things could be improved. I can't help it, I'm a problem solver at heart.

It's even more interesting in Ottawa, because buildings are constructed differently and look different, so there's a lot to take in. One things that I noticed in public spaces is that most of the time, public washrooms are in the basement. It's not quite like that in Montreal. Another things is that it seems sometimes that things are done half way, as if it was too much of an effort to completely improve the space so people just gave up. I might be wrong, but it's the impression that I get.

Take the entrance of Mercury Lounge for example. I went there a little while ago and I noticed the chandelier on our way out. I thought it was a rather interesting light fixture. It doesn't really match the rest of the space, but kudos for trying something different... then I noticed how it was all put together....

Aside from the fact that the wires are loosely attached to the ceiling...

The light fixture is not wired properly! Instead of rewiring the fixture, an adapter was screwed in the socket and a Christmas light wire has been plugged onto the socket adapter and it looks like the Christmas lights are holding the chandelier in some sort of knot. Is that even legal? Obviously it's not a very well done job.

It's too bad, because the place has a lot of potential. It's kind of like a diamond in the rough. First thing I would do would be to fix the wiring and take away the ladder (why is there a ladder at the entrance?). I'd probably cover up the brick wall. The space has a Victorian feel to it and the brick wall takes away from it. I would continue along those line and use a more substantial light fixture that would really make an impression as people enter the place. Something along the lines of the chandeliers used in the following picture. Wouldn't that be better?


  1. Whoa, that "chandelier" looks like a fire waiting to happen!! You're right, that entry could be fixed up to look SO much better. And yeah, the chandeliers in the last picture are really pretty :-)

    I bought the B&Js ice cream at Loeb, but I assume you can pick it up at any grocery store. It's YUMMY!!!!


  2. I'm exactly the same way, sometimes I border on impolite with my friends...thankfully, they always indulge my design obsession and some even take my (well-intentioned?) advice to heart. I think their light fixture is really cool, I wish they had taken it all the way!


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