Architecture firm eba uses curved double-glazing to create a new entrance for a Quebec City college.
The Collège Saint-Charles-Garnier, a private high school located in Quebec City, occupies a 1930s neo-classic building extended with various wings overtime. The students needed a welcoming and universally accessible entrance. The client’s demands also involved renovating the existing gymnasium and regrouping the Art studios in a poorly lit basement.
The project was granted to one of its former students, principal of architecture firm eba. Driven by the emotional link with her alma mater, the architect created an exterior agora bringing sunlight to the Art quarters and providing exterior gathering space for the students. For the entrance, a brick curved wall transitions into a rounded, double-glazing and low-E curtain wall creating a seamless but contemporary blend with the existing structure.
Entering the extension, the students are welcomed by a double height space bathed in zenithal light coming from a circular skylight. The gymnasium is paneled with maple veneer plywood and welcomes light from restored clerestory windows. At the mezzanine level, a new recess lounge opens on the gymnasium. Its smoked glass and wood guardrail allows spectators to comfortably watch the game below.
Down an existing stair, the Art quarter gathers theater, music and visual art classes. Here, the finishes are minimal and timeless; white wall and Johnsonite’s classic raised-round floor tiles which allows the creative minds to freely express their ideas. An exhibit hall opens toward the exterior agora where red-cedar seats and maple trees await the students.
The project was recently finalist in two categories for the Méritesd’architecture de la ville de Québec, a distinction offered by the city for the architectural excellence of built projects.