06.02.2012 /// Les Architectes FABG is the winning firm in the architecture competitions for the project to set up a new cultural venue, including a professional theatre, which will be built starting in September, a few metres away from the St. Lawrence River in the Verdun Borough. The project also provides for redevelopment and expansion of Verdun's circus school (École de cirque de Verdun).
Selected among four finalists, the winning team of architects has been selected by the jury by providing a project distinguished by the quality of atmospheres, the development of the nearby river and the views of the surrounding landscape and functionality of all. The jury, presided by Diane Vallée, directrice de la culture, des sports, des loisirs et du développement social in the Verdun Borough, emphasized the artistic signature of the projects submitted in the competition.
In addition to Les Architectes FABG, the finalists in the architecture competitions were: Saucier + Perrotte, Architectes; Dan S. Hanganu, Architectes; and Manon Asselin, Architectes and Jodoin Lamarre Pratte, Architectes in consortium.
See the finalist concepts
On the whole, the project aims at creating a hub for performing arts and circus arts in Verdun. The former arena (located at 5190, boulevard LaSalle) will be redeveloped and slightly expanded in order to better accommodate the existing Studios B and A.
A cultural venue will be set up in Studio B. The new, expanded facilities will be more than a traditional theatre: they will be used as a venue for creation, production and promotion for various cultural organizations in the arts field. These facilities will include a mediation room, allowing for synergy between the performers and the audience before the shows, as well as an exhibition hall and areas for the performers' living quarters.
At the present time, École de cirque de Verdun is located in Studio A, which is to be redeveloped and expanded.
Starting in the fall of 2013, the theatre will be able to offer between 368 and 444 fixed and retractable seats, depending on the type of show that will be presented there. The theatre will operate in association with the circus arts hub of la Cité du cirque la Tohu in order to attract appropriate shows.
The cost of the cultural venue project amounts to $16.3 million—$12.4 million for the cultural venue in Studio B for demolition, construction, landscaping, parking, equipment, the work of art and $3.9 million for the redevelopment of Studio A.