Institutional [Small] Award
Jury comments: This building was notable for its strong focus on sustainable strategies, implemented in a most elegant and beautifully detailed way. The use of natural ventilation and daylighting was particularly innovative. We also appreciated the multiple ways in which local wood was used.
The Centre de Découverte is located in the Parc National des Îles-de-Boucherville, a group of five islands in the St. Lawrence River, a few kilometres from Montreal. The building is both the main visitor centre for the park and a showcase for the SÉPAQ [National Parks of Quebec] network. Built entirely in wood, the Discovery Centre exemplifies an integrated approach to architecture that combines high performance, bright and inspiring interior spaces, and a respect for context.
To improve access to the site and connection to the water, the program was divided into two volumes: one housing the interpretive centre, the other housing outdoor equipment rentals. These two buildings define a public space that acts as a gathering area and gateway to the park; conveying a sense of arrival and anticipation.
Designed to introduce its many visitors to the natural world, the project both respects and reflects its environment. It was developed through an integrated design process, involving the client and professionals from a wide spectrum of design disciplines. The building embodies the principles of bioclimatic design, with each gesture contributing to the aesthetics of the pavilion as well as to the overall sustainability of the project. Modelling of ventilation, daylight and energy systems was used to optimize building design and performance.
Energy intensity [building and process energy] = 142.7kWh/m2/year
Energy intensity reduction [relative to reference building under MNECB] = 40%
Architect Smith Vigeant Architectes
Mechanical/Electrical engineer Bouthillette Parizeau
Civil engineer Groupe WSP
Landscape Architect Groupe BC2
Space programming and exhibitions Groupe GID Design
General Contractor Construction R. Bélanger
Photos Adrien Williams
Water-free urinals supplied by SLOAN.