doublespace photographs Jodoin Lamarre Pratte/Atelier TAG
What most of you don’t know about us is that we are through and through Montrealers. We spent most of our significant years in la Belle Province (et nous sommes parfaitement bilingues en plus!). So when comes the time to visit our families, a mere two hours away from Ottawa, we try to catch up with what goes on in our hometown on the design front. We are huge fans of the architectural scene in Quebec, with some of the most creative and inspiring work in the country taking place there. On our last trip, we arranged to check out Jodoin Lamarre Pratte/Atelier TAG’s Bibliothèque Raymond Levesque in St-Hubert. While a lot of people don’t associate winter with architectural photography, we believe winter is a great opportunity to make architecture stand out from the crowd. Snow simplifies the landscape and declutters scenes. Winter also sports some of the most amazing and crispest light all year. You combine the two, and you get images that can highlight the building at its best.
From the architects:
“Straddling city and park, the library acts simultaneously as a gateway pavilion, an institutional building, a civic structure and a cultural centre. The library thus plays an important role in the cultural and civic life of the community. It is conceived to provide designated areas for young families, children, day-care and school groups as well as for adolescents, adults, and retirees. The architecture of the new library is sculpted in response to this force of nature, poetically materializing and celebrating the presence the wind while technically seeking to take advantage of this resource for its bioclimatic strategy. Delicately sited between protected wetlands and a red maple forest, the new library explores an essential link with St-Hubert’s most important natural environment. The architecture of the library metamorphoses the forest and harvests the forces of nature. As such the library is conceived as an interface between nature and culture.
Beyond the formal allegory of the flying carpet, the architectural concept is foremost an elementary bioclimatic response to the site’s conditions. Its geometry speaks of the renewable natural resources of the earth: the wind, the sun and the rain. From west to east its roofs cape bends under the prevailing winds. The giant cut at its centre collects the rainwater in a retention basin while the wood blades of its filigree envelope filter the sunlight. The façade composition of wood louvers, inclined according to the sun path, highlight the constructional the nature of the filigree assembly, its spatial and aerial qualities.”