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Awards of Excellence — 2017 Recipient

Bibliothèque du Boisé
Montreal
QC
Award Category: 
Awards of Excellence
Green Building (Administered in partnership with the Canada Green Building Council)

Project completed in consortium: Cardinal Hardy*/ Labonté Marcil / Eric Pelletier* architects (*Lemay)

 

 

Envisioned as a 21st-century library, the Bibliothèque du Boisé is more than a space for housing documents: it's a cutting-edge cultural, technological and creative hub. It has become a landmark for the citizens of Montreal’s Saint-Laurent borough and an inspiration to other communities. By integrating numerous functions, the library embraces revolutionary changes in information management and educational technologies. With its open spaces and cozy alcoves, the library fosters exchange and generates a sense of belonging and community. 
Since its inauguration in 2013, the library has quadrupled visitor forecasts and received praise for its architecture, interior design, project management, environmental aspect and its use of steel, wood, and zinc. 
The idea behind the design was to create a new type of learning experience that would reinforce the building’s value to the community and offer an attractive centre for cultural and community activities. Positioned between an urban and a natural setting (Thimens Boulevard and Marcel-Laurin Park), the library both strengthens the artery’s civic function and enhances the protected woodland behind it by providing a new point of entry.
A high-performance building, recently certified LEED Platinum, it has been called the eco-friendliest library in Canada. Its integration of mechanical systems is innovative: a passive heating system uses the heat accumulated in a glass prism for redistribution through a geothermal loop. Low-flow ventilation through the floors reduces the number of ducts required. The objective for the surrounding site was to strengthen the existing natural environment with a green approach to the retention basins’ design and operation, xeriscaping, and the construction and layout of parking areas and related facilities.

The project preserved trees and planted over 100 new ones, also adding 5,000 shrubs, ground cover, and climbing plants, all of them indigenous. A storm water recovery system supplies water to an adjacent wetland. Particular attention was paid to both user comfort and energy efficiency in the choice of lighting, which relies mostly on natural light, combined with task lighting, for energy savings of 63 percent. The use of certified wood, low-emission and recycled or regional materials was emphasized. Seventy-five percent of the library’s total floor area receives natural light.  

Jury Comment(s): 
“The library offers a variety of beautifully lit and welcoming spaces throughout, maximizing daylight and views and the use of natural elements, such as wood, to create an environment that contributes to health and wellbeing,” said the threemember jury. “Their approach to high-performance building through whole systems design and strategy has resulted in an impressive achievement. 
 
“Not only does it have a remarkable dialogue with the urban site and natural habitat, but it also does so with a striking form.” 
Click for full version: 
View from Thimens Blvd.

Photo: Doublespace Photography

At one with nature.

Photo: Doublespace Photography

Interior stairs and ceiling.

Photo: Doublespace Photography

Information desk and angled skylight.

Photo: Yien Chao 

Central staircase viewed from ground floor.

Photo: Doublespace Photography

Landscaping in foreground.

Photo: Doublespace Photography

Showing both volumes.

Photo: Yien Chao

Dramatic angle sign.

Photo: Doublespace Photography