ACDF Architecture Unveils a New Retirement Complex

Located on the banks of Rivière des Prairies in Sainte-Dorothée, Québec, ACDF Architecture’s 30-storey retirement complex is a place where residents can enjoy panoramic views of the adjacent river, and Montréal’s Mont-Royal landmark to the distant south.

Photo credit: Adrien Williams

Panorama is a 286-unit complex comprised of three overlapping components, including 206 apartments, 48 condominiums and a 32-room patient care unit integrated into the tower’s two-storey horizontal podium.

The building is the first of four senior residences being developed in collaboration with Group Sélection — a company that develops, builds and manages retirement complexes.

“With visibility comes responsibility,” said Maxime Frappier, Founder and Lead Designer, ACDF. “The challenge was to build an eye-catching signature tower through a quiet approach in terms of massing, financial structuring and architectural strategies.”

The building’s east and west façades, composed of precast concrete panels in three different shades, create a sense of movement through staggered window positioning.

To the north and south, Panorama is marked by linear balconies, concrete panelling and darkened windows with contrasting lateral panels, which visually interprets a cloudy sky hanging above the landscape.

Photo credit: Adrien Williams

Wrapped in anthracite granite, the complex is anchored by a two-storey podium equipped with amenities. The podium houses common spaces and activities, including a pool, a spa, a gym, a yoga classroom, a bowling alley, a golf simulator, and more.

From large gathering spaces facing outward towards the river, to intimate café settings focused on Panorama’s interior courtyard, ACDF says the common spaces are designed to ensure that all residents can find a space for the time of day or the emotion that they are experiencing.

The tower’s interior was organized and designed around the concept of seamless flow, and creating connections between the building’s tenants to encourage a break away from solitude.

Photo credit: Adrien Williams

Its rounded corners and soft fluidity provide architectural contrasts to the tower’s sharp, rectangular appearance.

A horizontal, double-height atrium serves as the podium’s gateway, where a theme of natural elements pays homage to the surrounding landscape. Natural wood flows from the ceiling into the walls, while organic shapes, two-tone stones, gradient carpeting and blue velvet drapes harmonize with the adjacent river and shoreline.

Panorama’s apartments embrace the ‘Plus One’ trend, which focuses on a building’s common spaces, amenities and surrounding environment as significant value-added enhancements to its private living spaces.

As opposed to traditional institutional layouts, Panorama’s 32-room care unit features a looped circuit that allows for perpetual forward movement.

“We wanted to avoid the trap of institutional designs and, with Panorama, we have built a warm and welcoming environment for autonomous, sophisticated seniors,” said Frappier.