Diane-Dufresne Art Centre Repentigny

Diane-Dufresne Art Centre, Repentigny Building Development, Quebec Architecture Images

Diane-Dufresne Art Centre in Repentigny

Exhibition Space in Montreal, Quebec design by ACDF Architecture, Canada

24 Aug 2016

Diane-Dufresne Art Centre

Design: ACDF Architecture

Location: Repentigny, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Diane-Dufresne Art Centre

Diane Dufresne Art Centre

With the Centre d’Art Diane Dufresne, ACDF Architecture has created a new arts centre for the suburban municipality of Repentigny, providing a dynamic core where residents can take in stirring arts and culture without getting on the highway to nearby Montreal. The centre’s architecture, including its siting, massing, circulation and materiality, are instrumental in reinventing the desired community image.

Diane Dufresne Art Centre

It plays with notions of rootedness while gesturing to a vibrant future, instilling a sense of belonging and optimism. Familiar yet distinct, it invites visitors in and encourages long, lingering stays.

Diane Dufresne Art Centre Diane Dufresne Art Centre

With this project, the Municipality of Repentigny and ACDF conceived of the centre as a part of a larger master plan. It is the kick-off element to transform a once-sparse, underutilized park into a cultural corridor with thematic gardens, a civic plaza and a theatre.

Diane Dufresne Art Centre

Part of the broader redevelopment scheme is toprovide connections between previously disjointed, bungalow-lined streets. The design team positioned the building at the nexus of new walking paths, linking a main boulevard with surrounding residential lanes, helping to draw people to the site.

Diane Dufresne Art Centre

The building’s overall form further helps attract residents. The studio reinterpreted classical principles — a carefully proportioned colonnade in front of a calm reflecting pool, a monolithic materiality, and a solid, reassuring appearance — with its signature, contemporary sophistication. A number of the columns are off kilter to foster moments of encounter; the materiality is a glinting stainless steel; and the inner mass is sub-divided into three sinuous, Aalto-esque volumes, each of which conceals the centre’s Multipurpose room, dance recital space and main gallery area. These spaces again balance functionality and flair. Each interior is understated to let the art shine, and was designed to optimize acoustics and lighting.

Diane Dufresne Art Centre Diane Dufresne Art Centre

Beyond contemporizing the façade, the building’s materiality deftly acts as a beacon — important, as the structure is set back from the nearby roads. The row of shimmering columns gleams in the sun, their reflectivity calling to passers-by as well as amplifying and dramatizing the surroundings, such as sunlight, vegetation, and seasonal colours.

Diane Dufresne Art Centre

The qualities of the cladding also echo those of the bell towers of the Église de la Purification-de-la-Bienheureuse-Vierge-Marie, the oldest church in the Montreal region. To contrast the metal’s slickness, the three sinuous volumes in the interior are clad in locally sourced wood, which emanates warmth under an array of skylights.

Diane Dufresne Art Centre

The classic-meets-contemporary appearance helps establish a sense of familiarity and the porous circulation allows the public to weave through layers of the building, informally experiencing the art. Visitors can wander along through the newly landscaped forecourt, crossing a slatted wooden promenade that transverses the serenity of the reflecting pool (which doubles as a filter for storm water runoff).

Diane Dufresne Art Centre

They can walk through the exterior colonnade, which also functions as an open-air exterior gallery, and absorb the creativity of the place without stepping inside the building. Or they can enter the interiors, and explore the galleries of linger in the interior colonnade.

Diane Dufresne Art Centre Diane Dufresne Art Centre

Importantly, the centre contributes to the community regardless of the time of day. At night, it acts as a lantern, activating the surrounding park, and making serene reflections in the pond — reflections that express a sense of temporality, and which will instil a sense of calm for years to come.

Diane Dufresne Art Centre

Diane Dufresne Art Centre

Photography: Adrien William

Diane-Dufresne Art Centre in Repentigny images / information received 240816

ACDF Architecture on e-architect

Location: Repentigny, Quebec, Canada

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