Improving the quality of water in the City of Montreal without degrading the beauty of the environment in which it is located: these are the challenges faced by Smith Vigeant architectes, project manager. Located in the heart of a public park in Montreal, it was essential that the architecture of the structure respect the environment in which it is located. Challenge met… 

And for good reason: the announcement of the establishment of such a building on the green banks of the aqueduct canal in the heart of a public park immediately aroused great concern in the community of residents and users of the the borough of Verdun. 

The concept was then clearly inspired by the nature of water. Thus, the appearance of the building varies according to the weather and the seasons, like water which always runs in the same movement but nevertheless always moving, changing. 

The glass offers a gradation of blue pixels, limpid, sparkling or shimmering depending on the time of day, like the natural element from which it is inspired. At night, the building envelope offers a soft and reassuring light. In summer, it is adorned with a vegetable dress and in winter, the color of the glass evokes the block of ice. On the other hand, the horizontal lines of the volumetry, inscribed in the strata formed by the base: the glass cube and the parapet, evoke the perpetual horizontality of water.

The jury here praised the shared desire of the client and the design team to go beyond a simple order for public utility infrastructure, including major technical equipment needed for the municipal aqueduct. The result is a building with an expressive architecture that stands out for its sensitive integration into the park that borders the canal, for its elegant proportions and for its studied materiality, which change perceptions according to the time of day, the atmospheric conditions and seasons. This intriguing architectural object makes a remarkable contribution to the landscape of this sector of the city and, more broadly, to the industrial architecture of Montreal. 

From a utilitarian building dedicated to concealment, the architects have, through their formal choices, attempted an architecture in harmony with its environment which expresses in the public space values ​​essential to the life of the communities. Sleek, bright and straightforward, the building, lavishing water and light, also offers a visual signature that animates the space and reminds us how much these precious resources call for our attention.

Thus, this project completed in June 2021 fits brilliantly into its environment thanks to the work and the requirement of Smith Vigeant architects!


Visuals ©: David Boyer


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