Côte-des-Neiges Cultural Centre and Library
The Maison de la culture Côte-des-Neiges is the first to be created in a new building planned for this purpose in Montreal. The two main siting challenges were the restricted site dimensions and the height of the adjacent building. The architectural parti is a progression of vertical and horizontal box-like masses towards the neighboring building. Its monolithic facades interact with the modern architectural language of the adjoining building. The rectangular volume of masses and voids ensures an urban presence, while its materials, brick and wood, enhance the integrity of the building and the civic character of its function on both the inside and the outside of the building.
The simple plan unfolds around a central opening that is flooded with natural light. This circulation space, located at the heart of the building, includes an open staircase that facilitates the orientation of users in addition to providing sufficient natural light throughout the space and into the children's library in the basement. The original program of the Maison de la culture Côte-des-Neiges includes a library and an audio-visual library with a collection of nearly 100,000 documents, plus a 150-seat amphitheater, a showroom, a printing press and a photography laboratory. Inside, cherry wood and brick dominate. The sobriety in the use of these materials as a cladding and as architectural elements, combined with skylights that drive natural light through the heart of the consultation areas generate the warmth, intimacy and character of the project.