Placemaking: The Y Centre is a pavilion glowing through a screen of vegetation. Located in an economically depressed neighborhood, the building becomes a beacon in the urban landscape. At night, the signature lighting and large glazed openings invite the community to take part in civic and athletic activities. By day, the white concrete block facade is a festive marker on a park-like site.
Restitching the Urban Fabric: The building splits into two volumes each connected to distinctly oriented North and South urban fabric, thus creating a delaminated central spine. The North and South wings become two level, inhabited sports plateaus housing the gym and 25m pool, respectively.
The play of the North/Gym Wing opens the building towards the Laurentian Boulevard to the west, funneling the public into the heart of the Centre. The interior intersection of north-south and east-west circulation formalizes the urban framework inside and out.
Transparency + Visual Connections: The entrance lobby, and main circulation space, is the connector of the North-South volumes, forming an interior pedestrian street. The two-toned entry hall spatializes the intended program of the space; separating circulation and more social reception and viewing areas all visually connected to the adjoining fitness spaces.
Full height interior glazing reflects the language of the exterior and allows a rapid reading of the program. This interiorexterior transparency creates visual continuity from floor to floor and indoors and outdoors.
On the lower level of the southern volume, the pool deck extends West continuing the ground plane through the building to the outside and up to the level of the street. To the north, the track surrounding the upper perimeter of the gym projects the runner into nature and the lobby of the Centre.
Signature Lighting: Throughout the building, signature lighting highlights kinetic movement. The lighting creates rhythms specific to the use of the space and responds to the intersection of the circulation spaces.
Sustainable Living: From the urban gestures to the architectural resolution, the Y is designed with a holistic approach to sustainability. At the level of the site, the pavilion setting reduces parking and creates a signature landscape. In combination with the white facade and white roofing membrane the heat island effect is reduced and a geothermal system completes the sustainable strategy.
Showcasing Community Life: The architecture also strives to foster sustainable communities. The orientation on the site and transparent facade invite the public to become a part of the community and of the Y. The pool and gym are viewed from above when entering the linear ground floor lobby. On the upper level, a track, studio, fitness centre and multifunction rooms are arranged on either side of the building’s spine. These spaces benefit from open views to each other as well as elevated views towards the lobby, pool and gym below showcasing community life. As a result of the generous transparency of the spaces, both inwards and outwards, the Y Centre projects a genuine desire for openness to the community.
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Architect: Daoust Lestage inc. architecture design urbain
Client name: YMCA du Québec en partenariat avec l’arrondissement d’Ahuntsic-Cartierville
Project leader: Daoust Lestage inc. architecture design urbain
Project Manager: Coprim inc.
Design team members: Renée Daoust, Benoît Décarie, Hala Mehio, Carl Pineau, Jean-François Bilodeau, Marie-Josée Gagnon, Stéphane Savoie
Collaborators: Sistemalux inc., Britton électrique, Acier Sélect, Maçonnerie ASP, Les miroirs Saint-Antoine inc., Construction Michel Gagnon Ltée, Les Métaux Tremblay inc.
Engineering: Dessau ingénierie inc.
Main contractor: Pomerleau inc.
Other specialist designers/consultants: Piscines Soucy inc., Éclairage Public inc.
Design built start date: January 2008
Design built end date: May 2010
Site area: 127 585 sq.ft.
Built area: 88 000 sq.ft.
Budget: $17M (building & landscape)
Photographers: Marc Carmer / Daoust Lestage (Marie-Josée Gagnon)