Winner of an architectural contest in which there were over 60 entries presented and four finalists, this project for the Châteauguay municipal library is situated at the nexus of Châteauguay’s municipal services. The new library will read like a keyword, written in bold letters to accentuate its presence in a heterogeneous urban fabric.
Like a standing stone, the municipal library begins by symbolically elevating a fieldstone ‘bookcase’ from the wooded riverbank of its Châteauguay surroundings. Through the poetic force of its abstraction, the standing stone marks the entry point to the city from the serenity of the park it borders. The proposed architectural concept lies in its simplicity of form and materials.
The stone ‘bookcase’ is the unifying architectural element that is continuous with Châteauguay’s heritage. This standing stone that is the new Châteauguay library is first and foremost a concrete manifestation of the city’s collective memory, the scope of which radiates across the entire site.
The proposed project takes advantage of Parc Mercier’s natural topography and establishes an intimate conversation with the landscape. Partly integrated and partly superimposed, the architecture becomes landscape, and the landscape, architecture. The new library provides access to over 150 000 documents, including periodicals, reference documents and audio-visual records, and is organized into two large sections: public activity is continuous with and enlivens the (lower) landscape so that the library proper opens onto the spacious second floor.
Accessed from the large staircase leading from the ‘public square’, the library’s slanting hall looks out into the treetops. The hall is a place of orientation, information and services, and its transparency allows for a continuous visual interaction between the program’s various constituents and the serenity of the park.
Around the many levels of books, we discover reading and work stations that look to the sky.
The library services areas are located at the same place on every floor of the building, forming a pivotal vertical axis that creates a direct visual link with all the programs’ constituents.
Completed in consortium with Manon Asselin Architect | Jodoin Lamarre Pratte and Associates in consortium.
Dates: 2001 to 2003
Surface Area: 2530m2
Team: Marc Laurendeau, Denis Gaudreault, Éric Laprise, Daniel Chabot
Role: Contest, plans and specifications, work supervision
project date : 2001 to 2004
surface area : 2 530m2
budget : 5.9 M$
team : Marc Laurendeau, Denis Gaudreault, Éric Laprise, Daniel Chabot