Discovery Center - Iles de Boucherville National Park

PrizeWinner in Architectural Design / Recreational Architecture, Winner in Architectural Design / Other Architecture
Firm Location, Canada
CompanySmith Vigeant Architectes Inc.
Lead ArchitectDaniel Smith
Design TeamStéphan Vigeant, Cindy Neveu, Anik Malderis, Mariana Segui, Maxime Varin
ClientSEPAQ

The Discovery and Visitor Center of Îles-de-
Boucherville National Park is the main
welcome point for park visitors and a
showcase building for Quebec’s national
parks network. It is a welcoming place for
social interaction and nature discovery.
The anticipated building volume was
deliberately divided into two parts, which
creates an open public space and frames the
central axis of circulation that leads to
the water. This junction is a hub for both
discovery activities and outdoor equipment
rentals.
The architecture reflects and respects the
surrounding environment. The buildings
undulated edges were designed to minimize
tree cutting, and encourage visitors to
wander around and progressively discover the
space.
The fluid motion is accentuated by a
textured veil: a succession of wooden slats
overlapping the siding all around the
building. This cladding also acts as a light
filter and produces shadows dancing across
the ground, reminding of the willows’
foliage. Inside, a curvy channel-like recess
on the ceiling and a skylight bring in
natural light and enhances natural
ventilation. The architectural composition
is all tied-in together by a glass curtain
wall. Offering direct views of the parks
from the inside and reflecting nature on the
tainted glass outside.