New Project
Copy of Belvédère pour la musique
 

COGECO AMPHITHEATRE

Location 100, avenue des Draveurs, Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada

Status Built 2016

Client City of Trois-Rivières

Type Performance, Cultural, Public

Building Area 12 458 m² (total) / 4 945 m² (indoor)

Capacity 8 988 (fixed seating + lawn)

Roof Dimensions 80 x 90 m

Roof Height 26 m

The Cogeco Amphitheatre is an iconic venue located in Trois-Rivières, Canada. The building hosts outdoor performances for up to 9 000 people with a stage that becomes an indoor cabaret during winter with a capacity of 700 seats.

 

Photo Marc Gibert

A Strategic Site

In 2010 an architectural competition was launched for the design of a new 9 000 seat amphitheatre to revitalize the city’s depressed economy while at the same time support its cultural offering.

The project creates a landmark on one of the city’s most beautiful site, previously occupied by a paper mill that was shut down in the early 2000s due to the industry’s collapse. The site’s location, adjacent to the harbour front park, the city centre, the Saint Lawrence River and Saint Quentin Island, called for a majestic, harmonious and vibrant construction.

“Because of its location on an open site along two major waterways, it is much more than an amphitheatre,” says architect Paul Laurendeau. “It is a new landmark that extends the citys’ boundary to the water.”

Photos Adrien Williams

 
 

The Monumental Roof in Construction

Views of the project from the competition renderings in 2011 to the final built work in 2016.

The iconic roof with it sharp edge and 8 slender columns has been realized as planned. Its colour evolved from black to red to create more drama and intensity in relation to its function.

 

We Wanted to Create a Landmark for Trois-Rivières

“The idea was to have a big roof, actually a huge roof, to act as a symbol that can be seen from far away.”

 

Wood Letters

Are they made of wood? The 6-meter tall letters that spell the name of the city TROIS-RIVIÈRES are made of 200 mm thick cross-laminated timber wood supplied by KLH of Austria. They were cut at the factory and sent by container over the Atlantic from Hamburg to the port of Montreal.

Watch the video to see the cutting of the wood panels and their installation.

ATRV Cross Laminated Timber.jpg
ATRV 2016-11-18 © Adrien Williams-006_2880x1920.jpg
 

Colours

Colours give life and express a building’s function. The choice of black and red is a common combination for theatres and performance spaces.

How do I select colours? I rely on free association, experience and testing.

Photo Marc Gibert

Photo Marc Gibert

 

The Beauty of Concrete

Concrete is a natural material with tactile properties. It imposes a sense of solidity and eternity. It’s surface is shiny when poured into smooth formwork.

Photos Marc Gibert and Adrien Williams

 

The Audience

The audience seating is the most important part of the Amphitheatre. There is a zone with fixed seats for 3 500 people and a gentle sloping lawn that can hold about 5 200. Sightlines determine the rake of the slope to offer optimal visibility towards the stage.

Photo Marc Gibert

 

The Seating Layout

The orchestra is divided into sections from 101 to 303 based on a stadium organization.

Seats in each section are separated between even and odd numbers to help increase crowd flow. The first 10 rows of the orchestra feature movable seats to create a standup zone called a mosh pit, a configuration normally used for rock concerts. There are 397 movable seats in the mosh pit area with rows labelled AA to KK.

Section 200 is considered the VIP section with seats clustered in groups of 12 and 16 in boxes.

There are 38 foldable seats with high legs at the front of sections 301 and 303 that form alcoves for people in wheelchairs to take place.

There are 3 078 fixed seats for a grand total of 3 513 seats including the movable seats. Seat widths range from 20” to 23” to balance rows and create straight side aisles. This variation creates an offset with the seat in the next row in front and resolves visibility issues.

 
 

Yellow seats = 20” (508 mm)
Black seats = 21” (533 mm)
Blue seats = 22” (559 mm)
Green seats = 23” (584 mm)

Reserve a wide seat for more comfort!

 

The Seats

The fixed seats are made of red painted moulded grey cast iron standards with red high density polyethylene seats and backs.

Movable seats are made with a red painted galvanized steel structure with red high density polyethylene seats and backs.

The following shop drawings from Sièges Ducharme show the detailed construction of the fixed and foldable seats.

Shop Drawings by Sièges Ducharme

Photos Marc Gibert and Adrien Williams

 

Performance by ZZ Top

August 21, 2015, ZZ Top gave a show at the Amphitheatre.

The monumental roof created a unified space that unified the crowd with the band.

Photos Adrien Williams

 

“Will this roof fly away?

“The answer is no. I have my name on it.” (Serge Vézina, structural engineer)

 
 

The Foyer, Bar and Ticket Office

The public zone symbolized by the foyer serves as an exclusive reception area for VIP guests before show. Its double height space makes it an impressive and prestigious hall. An adjoining bar can be opened to the public.

The ticket office is open to the public during off hours. The administration offices overlook the foyer space and benefit from the view over the river.

The architecture uses glass, concrete, steel and black rockwool absorptive panels to control acoustics.

Photos Adrien Williams

 

Backstage

The backstage area is a work space for artists and technicians. It includes the dressing rooms, green room, laundry, loading dock, permanent and temporary storage, tour offices, security and circulations.

These servant spaces should be simple and provide daylight. The plan must create an unobstructed path between the loading dock and the stage. The dressing rooms connect to the backstage corridor to provide efficient stage access.

Exposed concrete, steel surfaces, contrasting colours with bilingual signage create a dynamic work environment for the preparation of shows.

Photos Marc Gibert and Adrien Williams

 

The Press

 

The Stage and Fly Tower

The stage is the heart of a performance space. The fly tower is the vertical extension of the stage that hides the fly system with its battens. It acts as a storage space above the stage opening to hoist props, lighting, curtains and decor elements.

Photos Marc Gibert and Adrien Williams

 

The Stage Door

The stage door is actually a steel wall that closes off the stage from the exterior when there are no shows and to protect the stage in general. Measuring 19 meters (62’-6”) wide by 8.8 meters (28’-9”) high, it is held by 6 steel cables attached to a pulley and counterweight.

The following sample of shop drawings by Show Canada illustrate the complexity of this custom designed monumental door.

Shop Drawings by Show Canada

 

The Structure

The building is made of a concrete and steel structure. Concrete is used for the foundations and the core of the stage/fly tower. Steel is used for the monumental roof and backstage building. The walls around the stage form a hollow rectangular core that braces laterally the roof trusses.

The roof measures 80 x 90 meters in plan supported by 26-meter high concrete filled steel columns.

Photos Marc Gibert

 

Project Team

Architect Paul Laurendeau Architect (competition)
Paul Laurendeau | François R Beauchesne | Architects in Joint Venture
Project Architect and Lead Designer Paul Laurendeau

Engineering and Project Management Groupement Dessau-Pluritec

Theatre Consultant for the Client Trizart Alliance

Theatre Consultant for the Architect Guy Simard

Acoustics Octave acoustique

Lighting Gilles Arpin

Signage Principal

Code consultant Technorm

 

 
Cogeco Amphitheatre
ATRV 2016-11-18 © Adrien Williams-003_2880x2158.jpg
 

COGECO AMPHITHEATRE

Location 100, avenue des Draveurs, Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada

Status Built 2016

Client City of Trois-Rivières

Type Performance, Cultural, Public

Building Area 12 458 m² (total) / 4 945 m² (indoor)

Capacity 8 988 (fixed seating + lawn)

Roof Dimensions 80 x 90 m

Roof Height 26 m

The Cogeco Amphitheatre is an iconic venue located in Trois-Rivières, Canada. The building hosts outdoor performances for up to 9 000 people with a stage that becomes an indoor cabaret during winter with a capacity of 700 seats.

 

Photo Marc Gibert

A Strategic Site

In 2010 an architectural competition was launched for the design of a new 9 000 seat amphitheatre to revitalize the city’s depressed economy while at the same time support its cultural offering.

The project creates a landmark on one of the city’s most beautiful site, previously occupied by a paper mill that was shut down in the early 2000s due to the industry’s collapse. The site’s location, adjacent to the harbour front park, the city centre, the Saint Lawrence River and Saint Quentin Island, called for a majestic, harmonious and vibrant construction.

“Because of its location on an open site along two major waterways, it is much more than an amphitheatre,” says architect Paul Laurendeau. “It is a new landmark that extends the citys’ boundary to the water.”

Photos Adrien Williams

 
 

The Monumental Roof in Construction

Views of the project from the competition renderings in 2011 to the final built work in 2016.

The iconic roof with it sharp edge and 8 slender columns has been realized as planned. Its colour evolved from black to red to create more drama and intensity in relation to its function.

 

We Wanted to Create a Landmark for Trois-Rivières

“The idea was to have a big roof, actually a huge roof, to act as a symbol that can be seen from far away.”

 

Wood Letters

Are they made of wood? The 6-meter tall letters that spell the name of the city TROIS-RIVIÈRES are made of 200 mm thick cross-laminated timber wood supplied by KLH of Austria. They were cut at the factory and sent by container over the Atlantic from Hamburg to the port of Montreal.

Watch the video to see the cutting of the wood panels and their installation.

ATRV Cross Laminated Timber.jpg
ATRV 2016-11-18 © Adrien Williams-006_2880x1920.jpg
 

Colours

Colours give life and express a building’s function. The choice of black and red is a common combination for theatres and performance spaces.

How do I select colours? I rely on free association, experience and testing.

Photo Marc Gibert

Photo Marc Gibert

 

The Beauty of Concrete

Concrete is a natural material with tactile properties. It imposes a sense of solidity and eternity. It’s surface is shiny when poured into smooth formwork.

Photos Marc Gibert and Adrien Williams

 

The Audience

The audience seating is the most important part of the Amphitheatre. There is a zone with fixed seats for 3 500 people and a gentle sloping lawn that can hold about 5 200. Sightlines determine the rake of the slope to offer optimal visibility towards the stage.

Photo Marc Gibert

 

The Seating Layout

The orchestra is divided into sections from 101 to 303 based on a stadium organization.

Seats in each section are separated between even and odd numbers to help increase crowd flow. The first 10 rows of the orchestra feature movable seats to create a standup zone called a mosh pit, a configuration normally used for rock concerts. There are 397 movable seats in the mosh pit area with rows labelled AA to KK.

Section 200 is considered the VIP section with seats clustered in groups of 12 and 16 in boxes.

There are 38 foldable seats with high legs at the front of sections 301 and 303 that form alcoves for people in wheelchairs to take place.

There are 3 078 fixed seats for a grand total of 3 513 seats including the movable seats. Seat widths range from 20” to 23” to balance rows and create straight side aisles. This variation creates an offset with the seat in the next row in front and resolves visibility issues.

 
 

Yellow seats = 20” (508 mm)
Black seats = 21” (533 mm)
Blue seats = 22” (559 mm)
Green seats = 23” (584 mm)

Reserve a wide seat for more comfort!

 

The Seats

The fixed seats are made of red painted moulded grey cast iron standards with red high density polyethylene seats and backs.

Movable seats are made with a red painted galvanized steel structure with red high density polyethylene seats and backs.

The following shop drawings from Sièges Ducharme show the detailed construction of the fixed and foldable seats.

Shop Drawings by Sièges Ducharme

Photos Marc Gibert and Adrien Williams

 

Performance by ZZ Top

August 21, 2015, ZZ Top gave a show at the Amphitheatre.

The monumental roof created a unified space that unified the crowd with the band.

Photos Adrien Williams

 

“Will this roof fly away?

“The answer is no. I have my name on it.” (Serge Vézina, structural engineer)

 
 

The Foyer, Bar and Ticket Office

The public zone symbolized by the foyer serves as an exclusive reception area for VIP guests before show. Its double height space makes it an impressive and prestigious hall. An adjoining bar can be opened to the public.

The ticket office is open to the public during off hours. The administration offices overlook the foyer space and benefit from the view over the river.

The architecture uses glass, concrete, steel and black rockwool absorptive panels to control acoustics.

Photos Adrien Williams

 

Backstage

The backstage area is a work space for artists and technicians. It includes the dressing rooms, green room, laundry, loading dock, permanent and temporary storage, tour offices, security and circulations.

These servant spaces should be simple and provide daylight. The plan must create an unobstructed path between the loading dock and the stage. The dressing rooms connect to the backstage corridor to provide efficient stage access.

Exposed concrete, steel surfaces, contrasting colours with bilingual signage create a dynamic work environment for the preparation of shows.

Photos Marc Gibert and Adrien Williams

 

The Press

 

The Stage and Fly Tower

The stage is the heart of a performance space. The fly tower is the vertical extension of the stage that hides the fly system with its battens. It acts as a storage space above the stage opening to hoist props, lighting, curtains and decor elements.

Photos Marc Gibert and Adrien Williams

 

The Stage Door

The stage door is actually a steel wall that closes off the stage from the exterior when there are no shows and to protect the stage in general. Measuring 19 meters (62’-6”) wide by 8.8 meters (28’-9”) high, it is held by 6 steel cables attached to a pulley and counterweight.

The following sample of shop drawings by Show Canada illustrate the complexity of this custom designed monumental door.

Shop Drawings by Show Canada

 

The Structure

The building is made of a concrete and steel structure. Concrete is used for the foundations and the core of the stage/fly tower. Steel is used for the monumental roof and backstage building. The walls around the stage form a hollow rectangular core that braces laterally the roof trusses.

The roof measures 80 x 90 meters in plan supported by 26-meter high concrete filled steel columns.

Photos Marc Gibert

 

Project Team

Architect Paul Laurendeau Architect (competition)
Paul Laurendeau | François R Beauchesne | Architects in Joint Venture
Project Architect and Lead Designer Paul Laurendeau

Engineering and Project Management Groupement Dessau-Pluritec

Theatre Consultant for the Client Trizart Alliance

Theatre Consultant for the Architect Guy Simard

Acoustics Octave acoustique

Lighting Gilles Arpin

Signage Principal

Code consultant Technorm

 

 
Dolbeau-Mistassini Theatre
Photo Marc Gibert

Photo Marc Gibert

 

DOLBEAU-MISTASSINI THEATRE

 

Location 105, avenue de l’Église, Dolbeau-Mistassini, Canada

Status Built 2008

Client City of Dolbeau-Mistassini

Type Theatre, Performance, Cultural, Public

Building Area 2 630 m²

Seating Capacity 491

 
 

A Guided Tour with the Architect

Video by Antti Seppänen

See a short video where I revisit in 2013 my project 5 years after its completion. Some testimonies explain how people use it.

This project is a unique theatre that brings audience and artists together because of a tight seating layout.

 

The Facades

The shape of the building is a series of black boxes put together with a glazed front facade along Church Street.

Photos Marc Gibert

 

The Canopy

The front canopy is the symbol of a theatre.

Point lights create glitter and subtle attraction.

Full height light boxes display posters for current and upcoming events.

Photos Marc Gibert

 

The Auditorium

Inspired from 19th century European continental theatres, the auditorium is based on the cylindrical form with a shallow orchestra surrounded by two balconies that bring intimacy.

One of my references in doing this was the inspiring Marie Bell Theatre in Paris.

Photo Marc Gibert

 

The Seating Layout

 
 
 

Le Lights

 

The Foyer

 

The Backstage

 

The Plans

Selected Publications

 

Project Team

Architect Paul Laurendeau | Jodoin Lamarre Pratte | Architects in joint venture
Project Architect and Lead Designer Paul Laurendeau

Structural Engineering Dessau-Soprin (today Stantec)

Mechanical/Electrical Engineering Roche (today Norda Stelo)

Theatre Consultant Go Multimedia

Acoustics Legault & Davidson

Signage Uniform (today Principal)

Code Consultant Technorm

General Contractor Constructions Unibec

 

 
Agora des Arts
AGOR 2018-09-19 01 HD_J_1920x1080.jpg
 

AGORA DES ARTS

This project is a competition submittal for the recycling of a church into a new cultural centre in a Northern mining city of Quebec. The entrance at street level offers a transparent lobby with an inviting bar-cafe. The main performance space is housed in the former nave with new raked seating and cheerful colours.

 

Location 170, avenue Murdoch, Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, Canada

Status Competition, Finalist 2018

Client Agora des Arts

Type Theatre, Performance, Cultural, Public

Building Area 2 080 m²

Seating Capacity 200

 

New Entrance and Cafe

A new contemporary glazed entry-hall-foyer is proposed at ground level with a setback from the street, creating a front terrace for people to gather.

The bar-cafe is located in a glass box that sits at the corner of the site. Topped with the company’s logo, its generates activity during the day. This is a new trend to maximize the use of theatres.

A series of point lights on the cafe ceiling creates a canopy like effect, with red glass panes associated with entertainment and pleasure.

 

The Foyer as a Gallery

The theatre’s foyer is a deambulation space linking the ticket booth, cloakroom and bar-café.

A door in the red wall gives access to the stair leading to the main performance space above.

 

The Auditorium in the Nave

Located in the nave of the former church, the auditorium is housed in a space with narrow proportions topped with a vaulted ceiling.

Red and black create a deep dramatic mood in the side aisles while a yellow and black printed image creates interest above, in the tradition of decorated ceilings often seen in more traditional theatres.

 

New Seating, Better Visibility

The cross section shows the new raked seating layout. To improve sightlines, a tiered disposition maximizes the visibility of the stage at the orchestra level as well as for the balcony.

The seating technology is based on a modular design with removable seats.

A cabaret configuration is thus possible with chairs and round tables.

 

Discreet Elements

The transformation keeps the church’s qualities while introduces contemporary elements that make it look and feel like a theatre.

The glass, the colours and the lighting bring new life to the building, making it the new home of the Agora of the Arts.

 

The Plans

The spaces are organized along the central axis aligned with the bell tower to reinforce the church’s geometry and create easy flow.

The main auditorium with the stage is located in the former church nave on the main level, one storey above the street. Below the auditorium, the community hall becomes the rehearsal room that can also be used for receptions in connection with the foyer.