Designed to meet LEED-NC environmental standards, this six-storey building of Quartier des Spectacles stands as a new Montréal cultural landmark, being located at the intersection of St. Catherine St. and St. Laurent Blvd., the nerve centre of the St. Laurent Blvd. revitalization project.
The building was designed as part of “Imagining-Building Montréal 2025”. The Angus Development Corporation ensured its cultural vocation by allocating 75% of the space to cultural organizations. CIBL community radio, La Vitrine, Artexte, Vox and the Regroupement des centres d’artistes autogérés du Québec also helped to design their space so it would reflect their needs. The French restaurant Le St. Cyr occupies the ground floor, while a future bar with outdoor terrace on the fifth floor will offer striking viewpoints of the surrounding area.
An echo of buildings that stood at this intersection in earlier times, the recessed angular entrance frees up the sidewalk for the dense pedestrian traffic this area generates, particularly during festivals. The unique façade of the complex is marked by seemingly random openings in the building’s wooden envelope. The envelope is protected by a shell of transparent glass, which functions as a second skin; the space created by superimposing these materials will be used for a variety of multimedia installations. The distribution of windows reflects the activities going on inside: the exhibition rooms in the upper levels enjoy controlled lighting, while large openings flood work environments with natural light.