Fonderie Center

The site chosen was a 550m2 plot of land in the form of a trapezoid, situated at the head of an urban islet, at the corner of two streets. The building is at the end of the islet comprised of three-floor real estate. The project, which included medical offices and consultation rooms, called for the creation of two separate divisions, each to be established on its own floor: on the ground floor a division for Maternal and Infant Health, on the second floor a division for the Promotion of Health and a Home for the Handicap. Sixteen parking spaces were requested in the basement, along with a boiler, and space for technical and archival premises. To achieve a volume of adequate urban proportion, capable of strengthening the islet’s corner, and given the smallness of the basement, we built a partial third floor at an angle, in which the technical and archival premises were placed. ZAC regulations required us to install roofing with a steep slope of 40°. As it was mechanically impossible to apply this rule over the entire site, we diverted around the traditional method of installing a sloping roof. Rather than treating it as a uniformly assembled mass, we followed, in the cutting of the roof, the principle of the blueprints that called for a “snail” organization of the various offices. This principle is supported by the presence of recesses in the roof, which allow it to adapt to variations in height. The roofing’s turning in upon itself is accomplished through a succession of folds that correspond to the slope requirements of the PLU, all the while bringing natural light to the heart of the building. Adhering to the letter of all the constraints would have entirely dictated the building’s form to us. To avoid this pitfall, we circumvented the constraints, thereby completing a building in the contemporary image. To the modern “chiseling” of the building and its roof, we combined, in contrast, the use of traditional materials, such as brick for the facades and zinc for the roof. The glazed window frames are treated as aluminum inserts. The entry system allows direct access to the second floor, bypassing the ground floor, and also giving the building an urban scale. Constituted of an airlock, it includes the main staircase, and is treated as a thick, ventilated façade, which allows, thanks to a system of openings and interior and exterior louver, climate control during both winter and summer (Canadian air well system).

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