SCHOOL OF MUSIC AND DRAMATIC ART OF MONTREAL

SCHOOL OF MUSIC AND DRAMATIC ART OF MONTREAL

Architect
Saia Barbarese Topouzanov Architectes
Location
Montreal, Canada
Project Year
2009
Category
Auditoriums

Universities

Workshops
Vladamir Topouzanov

SCHOOL OF MUSIC AND DRAMATIC ART OF MONTREAL

Saia Barbarese Topouzanov Architectes as Architects

A bleak remnant from Montréal’s sixties architecture was given a new lease on life by Saia Barbarese Topouzanov Architectes. The challenge was to turn a rigid environment into a welcoming educational facility. Three institutions, already there before the blaze, were to be accommodated a new: the École nationale d’administration publique, the Conservatoire de musique and the Conservatoire d’art dramatique du Québec. An auditorium and three distinct halls for the performing arts were to be either built or revamped within the structure. Lack of natural light, chaotic internal circulation and poor urban integration were to be addressed. Beyond these challenges, the architects were to ensure that the buildings activities be maintained throughout the entire construction process. Always a school, the building now houses music and theater students from Québec’s Conservatory as well as a public management school. A seven-story high atrium featuring an unusual trompe-l’oeil welcomes visitors in this institution where color is used as a major architectural feature. The building boasts a concert hall with convex acoustic panels draped like curtains and treated in golden hues alluding to brass ensembles, a more intimate recital hall painted copper with black highlighting referring to string instruments, a theater identified with an emblematic color red, and lastly the ÉNAP-related auditorium, built in the roof addition, featured a more neutral black and white environment. On the outside, the impact of the bleak concrete walls was toned down through the spelling out, in giant letters of a verse by Gaston Miron, one of Québec’s major poets. « Je ne suis pas revenu pour revenir, je suis arrivé à ce qui commence. »

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