February 6, 2010
by Canadian Architect
The winner of the Quebec-wide architectural competition for a new library in the Montreal borough of Saint-Laurent was recently announced – a team composed of Cardinal Hardy/Labonté Marcil/Éric Pelletier Architectes en consortium/SDK et associés inc./Leroux Beaudoin Hurens et associés inc.
In compliance with Montreal’s policy on sustainable development for municipal buildings, the project is aiming to obtain LEED Gold certification. A true cultural gathering place, the new building will include, in addition to the library, an exhibition space as well as the Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec’s collection conservation centre. The building will consolidate the role of the Boulevard Thimens civic axis and also help enhance the value of the Parc Marcel-Laurin woodland by providing it with a new point of entry.
The winning team stated: “The new Saint-Laurent library is a place where users will feel a sense of ownership – of knowledge, of culture, of the site itself – as well as discovery. This isn’t a project about architecture alone: it’s also about landscape. Located between Boulevard Thimens and Parc Marcel-Laurin, the new library integrates into the site by drawing on the major elements of the park. As such, the building connects the city with the surrounding landscape, and serves as a point of connection that allows users to explore its site – inside and outside, from Boulevard Thimens as well as from the park. Visitors will discover the building by approaching it from a variety of spaces both intimate and dramatic, spaces that, by offering a variety of access pathways, set the stage for the site as well as for its users.”
The jury and technical committee studied three other proposals, submitted by the following teams:
* ACDF* architecture (Allaire Courchesne Dupuis Frappier architectes)/ SNC Lavalin/CLA ingénieurs
* Chevalier Morales Architectes/Les Architectes FABG/Tecsult-AECOM inc.
* Provencher Roy + associés/Anne Carrier Architectes en consortium/Les consultants S.M. inc./Bouthillette Parizeau et associés inc.
Meeting in Saint-Laurent this past December, the jury consisted of jury chair Lise Bissonnette; Jean-Pierre Chupin, architect and full professor at the Université de Montréal; Marie-Claude Le Sauteur, architect, representing the Borough of Saint-Laurent; Claude Létourneau, architect; Éric Paquet, urbanist, representing the Borough of Saint-Laurent; Peter Soland, architect and landscape architect; and Lise Tremblay, architect and LEED-accredited professional.
The winning project will be presented to the general public at an information session at the Centre des loisirs de Saint-Laurent on February 15, 2010, at 7:00pm. Until then, drawings of the winning project as well as those of the three other finalists can be viewed on the website dedicated to the new library at: http://bibliotheque.saintlaurent.ville.montreal.qc.ca/home.html.
According to the established schedule, the winning firm will develop the plans and specifications for the new building throughout 2010. Construction will begin in 2011 and continue into 2012. The building is slated to open at the end of 2012.
The project is receiving financial support from the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine and the Ville de Montréal under the Entente sur le développement culturel de Montréal 2008-2011 (2008-2011 agreement on Montréal’s cultural development).