“Next generation” schools inspired by their surroundings
The consortium TLA Un Neuf Architectes is responsible for the construction of secondary schools in Montreal North and Anjou.
We will be able to recognize them by the wood, aluminum and unique blue that will be the signature of the new schools in Quebec. But the future secondary schools of Montreal North and Anjou will also stand out with an architecture inspired by their environment. At the heart of each of them, a tree will grow with the students.
The two establishments will each have an interior courtyard where the tree will be planted in the ground, explains Hugo Gagnon, architect at NEUF Architect(es) and spokesperson for the TLA Un Neuf Architectes consortium, responsible for the two projects.
In both cases, it will be a real point of reference. “The tree is visible, you can turn around it, it is always present in the space”, illustrates the architect, for whom it is a way of bringing nature into the building.
The tree is a symbol. He will grow with the students and he expresses the ambition to bring nature inside the school.
Hugo Gagnon, architect and spokesperson for the consortium TLA Un Neuf Architecte
The consortium also had to respect the functional and technical plan of the government of Quebec, which notably imposes the use of wood, aluminum and accents of blue – and not just any: that of the flag of Quebec.
The architects still had a certain freedom, which allowed them to adapt the architecture of each school to its environment.
Adapt to the terrain
In the case of Montreal-North, the architects had a huge lot – 80 000 m2– in a commercial and industrial zone in full transformation, at the corner of boulevards Maurice-Duplessis and Albert -Hudon.
They have reserved 30 000 m2 in the north for a future primary school, for which they are not responsible and whose construction has not yet begun.
For its part, the secondary school will be located in the center of the field, on boulevard Maurice-Duplessis. The five-storey building will be surrounded by a route leading to different public squares, where greening will be a priority.
“To create an institutional pole, what is most important is to bring together young and not so young in a sector with a common vocation”, underlines Mr. Gagnon.
The location of the school of Anjou imposed another more elongated architecture. (Photo: Courtesy/TLA Un Neuf Architecte)
Another land, another reality
In Anjou, architects were faced with another reality, with land near Highway 40 and the Lafarge quarry in Montreal East.
“We had to work with a long and narrow field, which offered different opportunities . The building and the exterior spaces are much more elongated,” notes Mr. Gagnon.
The location of the land has made it possible for one of the four entrances to be more intimate, on a residential street . The architects were also able to rely on existing green spaces, including Roger-Rousseau Park.
Québec will invest $437 million for the construction of schools in Montréal-Nord and Anjou. Both are currently under construction and are scheduled to open in September 2024.