Synergia Complex

Synergia Complex

Architect
Lemay
Location
Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada
Project Year
2017
Category
Offices
Adrien Williams

Synergia Complex

Lemay as Architects

A contemporary statement and a nod to rural roots

Marking the entrance to the City of Saint-Hyacinthe is the new Complexe Synergia: a prestigious, six-storey office building with a strong and refined signature, defined by its innovative, exposed wooden building structure.

 

The Groupe Robin project hosts the developer-builder’s own offices and reflects the client’s dynamic nature with this visible structure and significant fenestration: a contemporary statement reflective of the group’s new generation of managers.

 

Why was wood used?

Not only does the building showcase the boreal forest’s stunning black spruce: it places wood at the heart of its very structure, with not a single metal beam supporting it. Wood was the ideal material for this project: environmentally friendly, noble, warm and – particularly in this case – highly innovative. It also meshed with the genius loci-inspired architectural concept.

 

The intent was to showcase this vernacular material as part of a modern building, uniting tradition and innovation, Quebec roots and the future. Wood is visible inside as much as outside, in the finishes and the structure, recounting the history of the forest and the classic Canadian log cabin. It also harmonizes with its context, its wheat tones recalling the rural roots of Saint-Hyacinthe, while its concrete and glass address the dynamic aspect of major motorway movements nearby. The project was carried out in collaboration with Nordic Structures, using engineered spruce, pine and fir (90% black spruce) from Chantiers Chibougamau. It was challenging to use wood in designing the envelope -- an unusual choice that gives the six-storey building its warmth – as well as the integration of electricity and climate controls.

 

Unique design and construction details

The project’s timber frame is a testament to architectural innovation and recent advancements. It features a post-and-beam system as well as glulam decking visible under the floor system. Cross-laminated timbers (CLT) were used in the elevator shafts and stairways. The result is a pared-down, organic look that gives free rein to architectural creativity. The black spruce wood is light, cost-effective and sustainable. The inspiration for the design itself was the kernels on a corncob: just as bulbs positioned in a sequential manner, its large frames overlap. The complex sets the tone in an area with little urban structure. Its raw, exposed concrete surfaces seem to emerge from the ground, blending with the building’s immediate environment in a statement of reverence for the region’s agricultural past and present.

 

Aiming for LEED certification, the project is an example of Lemay’s commitment to sustainable development, as well as the well-being of the building’s occupants.

 

It was built according to the strictest environmental standards, using local materials, and now boasts the latest in energy-efficient technologies as well as electric vehicle charging stations, plumbing devices that reduce water consumption, high- performance windows, a large rooftop terrasse, bike racks and employee showers. Lemay’s commercial architecture, landscape architecture, LemayLAB and urban planning teams were proud to contribute to this unique and defining project.

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