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CANADIAN ARCHITECT 02/20

31 SITE PLAN

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 1 ENTRANCE  5 JARDIN DES VOLTIGEURS 01 Entrée  2 BUS WAITING AREA  6 SKATING RINK 02 Espace d’attente (autobus)  3 PARKING  7 JARDIN DES VOLTIGEURS 03 Stationnement  4 DELIVERIES (FUTURE EXPANSION) 04 Livraison 05 Jardin des voltigeurs 06 Patinoire 07 Jardin des voltigeurs (expansion future)

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Bibliothèque de Drummondville, Drummondville, Québec Chevalier Morales in consortium with DMA architectes TEXT Odile Hénault PHOTOS Doublespace Photography, unless otherwise noted PROJECT

ADRIEN WILLIAMS

ARCHITECTS

Some architects are obsessed with materials, others with geometry, others still with colour (or the lack of it). Stephan Chevalier and Sergio Morales, of Chevalier Morales, are obviously passionate about all three—but also, and above all, about stairs. Stepping into the firm’s latest library, completed with DMA architectes, one is immediately struck by—and attracted to—a set of swirling stairs leading to a mid-level landing, a prelude to two more helicoidal sculptures aiming for the upper level. As one starts wandering about, other steps appear, of the bleacher style that is often (perhaps too often) used in contemporary libraries. In Drummondville, however, they acquire extra meaning, as the upper flight of bleachers is perfectly positioned to watch over the skating rink just outside the building. In this city of 75,000—which boasts more square feet of ice per person than any other Québec town—exterior rinks are sacrosanct. Chevalier Morales latched on to the idea of creating a visual link between reading and skating, and made the rink an essential component of the project. They even went a step further, introducing a heat exchange loop linking the rink’s compressors and the library’s heating system. It’s one of a series of subtle but important local references that are woven throughout this project. The library itself is positioned to help restructure nearby Lindsay Street, one of the city’s main avenues, which has gradually lost its character over the last decades. And although this unusual f loating object with its curvilinear footprint may seem out of place in the rather bland surrounding streetscape, the library has become a major destination. People come in and out, from various directions, and use the 5,750-square-metre building very much as a “third space”—a concept introduced in 1989 by American sociologist Ray Oldenburg to describe cafés, community centres and other informal hangouts.1

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Profile for IQ Business Media

Canadian Architect February 2020  

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada’s only monthly design publication, Ca...

Canadian Architect February 2020  

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada’s only monthly design publication, Ca...

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