November 1, 2010
by Canadian Architect
A jury chaired by Dan S. Hanganu has selected the team of Atelier Big City, Fichten Soiferman et Associés and L’ŒUF as winner of the architectural design competition for the future Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Cultural Centre. Construction of the Centre comes under the 2008–2011 Agreement on the Cultural Development of Montreal. The library component benefits from the joint financial support of the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine du Québec and the City of Montreal.
“The public presentation of the finalist projects in this architectural competition allowed citizens to appreciate the visions and ideas of the various teams, and of the winning team in particular,” said Christine St-Pierre, Québec Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women. “I congratulate Atelier Big City, Fichten Soiferman et Associés and L’ŒUF for their inventive spirit. They have produced a concept that will make this a truly valuable cultural centre that will meet the needs of the community.”
Helen Fotopulos, Montréal Executive Committee Member Responsible for Culture, Heritage, Design and the Status of Women, expressed delight at this new step forward in architecture. “As a UNESCO City of Design, we have a responsibility to develop a cultural landscape immersed in design and modern architecture, with a view to enhancing Montrealers’ living environment,” she noted. “By holding this architectural competition, we have also enabled local creators to make their talent better known, and this helps strengthen Montreal as a cultural metropolis.”
Michael Applebaum, Vice-Chair of the City of Montreal Executive Committee and Mayor of Côte-des-Neiges – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Borough, stated: “Culture begins right next door. The Borough of Côte-des-Neiges – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce has a responsibility to provide residents with access to establishments where knowledge is cultivated. The planned NDG Cultural Centre is intended to be a place of learning that is consistent with the history of the Benny Farm neighbourhood.”
Susan Clarke, Councillor for Loyola district, expressed enthusiasm for the project. “The proposal that was selected meets the needs of the neighbourhood’s growing population. This new cultural facility will be a gathering place where residents can meet, enjoy and enrich themselves.”
The choice was made following public presentations by the four project finalists on September 16 and jury deliberations on September 17. The jury’s recommendation to the Borough of Côte-des-Neiges – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce was unanimous. It took account of programming goals and of the criteria set out in the competition regulations. The jury noted that the selected project stands out for the way indoor and outdoor spaces are organized and the way activities are distributed, for its understanding of the needs of the various user groups, and for its openness to the community.
While innovative in form, this project shows respect and realism in meeting budgetary considerations and sustainable-development goals. The NDG Cultural Centre represents a total investment of $21 million.
The four finalist teams were: Atelier Big City, Fichten Soiferman et Associés, L’ŒUF; Chevalier Morales architectes, Busby Perkins + Will; Les architectes FABG, (Andre Brodeur, Eric Gauthier and Andre Lavoie); and Menkès, Shooner, Dagenais, Letourneux architectes.
atelier big city les jardins du Y des femmes, montreal, 2004