DISCOVERY CENTER

Client: Sépaq

îles-de-Boucherville, QC. Canada

2017

510 m2 / 5 490pi2

ÎLES-DE-BOUCHERVILLE NATIONAL PARK

The new Discovery and Visitor’s Center will serve as the main welcome point for visitors arriving at the Îles-de-Boucherville National Park and will also act as a forum in which to showcase Quebec’s network of national parks. This project embraces a philosophy of “discovery” for a unique experience of the built environment that is singular and respectful of its context in the natural surroundings.

 

In order to open up access to the site and highlight the promenade leading to the water, the anticipated building volume was deliberately divided into two distinct parts. This fragmented layout creates an open public space between the new volumes as well as framing the central axis of circulation that leads to the channel. A place for interaction, to meet and gather or merely pass through, this busy junction is a hub for both discovery activities as well as outdoor equipment rentals

 

The undulated building edges are in harmony with the natural setting and inspire visitors to meander around the built spaces. They follow, traverse, and pass under the curved surfaces to progressively discover the space. The fluid motion of the form is further accentuated by textured veil: a succession of wooden slats overlapping the siding and extending around the entire perimeter. The cladding also acts as a light filter, producing shadows that dance across the ground in the same way as the foliage of the surrounding willows.

 

Inside the building, the organic dialogue continues with a channel like recess that leads to the heart of the structure and the centrally located skylight. Illuminated with linear lighting that is in dialogue with the rhythmic exterior cladding, this luminous well brings the large discovery room to life. Due to its incline, this stunning layout also facilitates natural ventilation by directing air up towards the skylight.

2019 : PRIX D'EXCELLENCE EN ARCHITECTURE, OAQ

Winner, category : Public institutional buildings

2019 : CECOBOIS EXCELLENCE AWARDS

Winner, category : Institutional building of less than 1000 m2

Sustainable Development Prize

2018 : ASIA-PACIFIC INTERIOR DESIGN AWARDS (SHANGHAI)

Gold Award, category : Public Space

2018 : CANADIAN GREEN BUILDING AWARDS

Winner, category : Institutional - Small

2018 : WOOD DESIGN AND BUILDING AWARDS

Merit Award

2018 : GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN

Sustainable Development Prize

Use of Wood Prize

2017 : AMERICAN ARCHITECTURE PRIZE

Winner, categories

recreational architecture
and other architecture