Éts Student Centre [Maison Des Étudiants De L’Éts]

PrizeBronze in Architectural Design / Educational Buildings
Firm LocationMontréal, Canada
CompanyMenkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux Architectes
Design TeamArchitect and Project Manager: Anik Shooner Architect and Assistant Project Manager: Julie Morin Architectural Designer : Jean-Pierre LeTourneux Assistant Architectural Designer : Marc-Antoine Chartier-Primeau Project Team : Anne Lafontaine, Alexandre Cassiani, Gaspard Marier, Marc-Antoine Grondin, Véronique Hébert, Claudio Nunez, Nicolas Maalouf, Cuong Tran, Claude Labbé
ClientÉcole de technologie supérieure (ÉTS)

Inspired by an icehouse that once stood on the site, the crystal-like volume is remarkably light, open and airy. The mixed-use program was unified into a singular sculpted volume, its offsets interacting in a refreshing way with the more sober and introverted campus buildings. The massing was carved out on its south and east sides to create space for a future park that extends inside the building’s public program, maximizing sunlight and offering the community an abundantly glazed atrium that showcases student life within. On the street side, it offers mediated views on the upper functions through an intriguing five-storey high image digitally imprinted onto the glass curtain wall. An abstract representation of the energetic network of ideas on the campus, it evokes the innovative spirit and outreach to the world, which ÉTS intends to project. Inside, the atrium is conceived as an interior landscape in continuity with the exterior park. An impressive cantilevered truss, recalling the railway bridges and industrial structures in the area, lifts its grand staircase above the outdoor space on its south side, offering glimpses of Montreal’s cityscape from the park. A spiraling promenade weaves through the atrium under a warm, hovering topography made of birch wood slats. Custom furniture such as integrated cushioned nooks, and carefully selected seating typologies punctuate the open space with a wide array of spatial experiences for relaxing, studying and socializing. The promenade visually and physically ties the campus together, starting with a tunnel link from the adjacent pavilion to the east to reach the student residences through a planned bridge to the west. It constitutes an indoor, year-round park offering an open and central congregating space for large events and exhibitions to both the ÉTS and Griffintown communities. The project aims for LEED CS Silver Certification.