After deliberating, the members of the jury unanimously chose the project submitted by the firm Dan Hanganu Architects, citing, among other reasons, the firm’s modern approach to the image of a new generation of libraries.
The winning submission also stood out for the following reasons:
The design quality is a perfect fit with Montréal’s status as a UNESCO City of Design.
With regard to the building’s façade, the jury appreciated the way the transparent central volume framed by two masses of masonry (including the existing building at 700 Boulevard Rosemont) blends with the new section dubbed “Le Coffre,” which will house the main stacks. The central area, called “La Lanterne,” becomes an avant-garde window open to the outside. The whole seems to be borne by the image of Sol (the character famously portrayed by the late Marc Favreau), ubiquitous on the imposing column in the forecourt.
The project is well suited to the street grid and the site. The fluidity of the spaces provides “breathing room” for Parc Luc-Durand, in the rear, which will be surrounded by several other new buildings.
Inside, the jury liked the amply lit spaces, the generous opening of the library onto the forecourt, the way the reading rooms face the green spaces outside, and the pride of place given to the multipurpose room and multimedia room, strategically sited behind glass in La Lanterne so that passersby cannot fail to notice the activity within.
Also notable are the multigenerational aspect of the design, and a number of elements borrowed from nature, such as wood elements and a living wall, evoking Mr. Favreau’s interest in the family, ecology and sustainable development.