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Agora des Arts
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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.

The presbytery is used to house the backstage and support spaces like the dressing rooms, the green room and storage.

The administation offices are located on a separate floor of that connected building.


Project Team

Architect Atelier Paul Laurendeau | Artcad | Architects in joint venture
Project Architect and Lead Designer Paul Laurendeau

Structural and Civil Engineering Latéral s.e.n.c. + DWB consultants

Mechanical/Electrical Engineering Pageau Morel and Associates

Theatre Consultant Guy Simard


Alphonse Desjardins Theatre
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Alphonse Desjardins Theatre

The Alphonse Desjardins Theatre is a competition submittal that proposes a black symmetrical theatre on an open site to form a composition with an existing Arts Center. A plaza between the buildings serves as a gathering space for this new cultural hub.

Location 25, allée de la Création, Repentigny, Quebec, Canada

Status 2018 Competition (Finalist)

Client Repentigny City

Type Theatre, Performance, Cultural, Public

Building Area 2 800 m²

Seating Capacity 275 to 400 according to seating configuration


A Symetrical Composition

A thick black roof, glass curtain walls, translucid images and a bloody red box with a mysterious hole in its centre confirm that the building is a theatre.


The Auditorium

The project proposes a warm while entertainment space, what people come to expect in a theatre. Mixing traditional colours, cherry red and deep black to create contrast and drama, it is about comfort and excitement.


The Foyer

The roof is designed in reference to a canopy in the tradition of theatres. A series of lights create glitter.

At night, the translucent purple character and the interior wall with a printed velvet curtain show the building’s identity on the plaza and invite the public to come in.


The Facades: a Box within a Box

The building being on an open site, all facades are created equal with varying degrees of transparency.

The circulation spaces form a loop between the black outer volume and the interior red volume containing the auditorium and stage.


The Plans

The plan must be clear and efficient to allow a theatre to function properly.

A circulation circles around the stage and auditorium volume. On the left side of the plan are the backstage spaces, on the right side, the foyer and the plaza.



A conventional steel structure rests on pile foundations. Roof girders are designed to frame the central spaces without columns.


Project Team

Architect Atelier Paul Laurendeau + DKA Architectes
Project Architect and Lead Designer Paul Laurendeau

Landscape Architect Projet Paysage

Structural Engineering Latéral + DWB Consultants

Mechanical/Electrical Engineering SNC-Lavalin

Theatre Consultant Guy Simard

Cost Consultant Legico-CHP


Théâtre de Verdure
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Open Air Theatre

The “Théâtre de Verdure” is an existing open air amphitheatre located in the La Fontaine Park in Montreal. It is in need of renovation and updating. Designed in 1956 as an outdoor cinema, its programing has shifted towards dance and comedy. The stage must be increased in size, there must be a permanent roof to suspend the props, it must also integrate in the landscape of the park.

Location 4020, avenue du Parc-La Fontaine, Montréal, Canada

Status Feasibility study 2016

Client City of Montreal

Type Theatre, Performance, Cultural, Public

Site Area 2 800 m²

Seating Capacity 3 000


The Stage and the Park

The proposed stage, used for 3 months of the year for shows, is equipped with sliding back and side panels to make it an accessible pavilion during the remaining 9 months.

The stage’s backdrop was originally a projection screen for movies.


An Island that becomes a Boardwalk

Built on an artificial island, the original stage of 1956 turned its back on the lake.

The new stage is designed as a park pavilion and esplanade that gives access to the water.


A Flexible Stage

The new proposed stage is designed as a platform with a roof supported by two columns and two technical cores that store a series of sliding panels.

The panels allow to close the back and sides of the play area for shows.

The stage island is linked with the existing path network. It is no longer a barrier, but becomes part of the landscape.


The cross section shows the evolution of the amphitheatre, from the original 1956 design, to the 2004 adaptation, to the 2016 proposal.


The Seats

The purpose of the renovation is to make the amphitheatre accessible and inviting throughout the year. The agora must allow a crowd to attend a show.

Rows of wood blocks laid in an arc pattern create a series of steps and surfaces to sit and rest. There are no backrests to allow people to hop from one row to another.

The original stage was much smaller. It had an orchestra pit and two side towers for projector lights and speakers.


Closing the Loop

The renovation of the open air amphitheatre makes it an all year pavillon. The island is made accessible.

The theatre functions are located under the stage to free the views and be secure.


The Plan

The Theatre de Verdure is similar to the Cogeco amphitheatre project in scale. The seating capacity of 3 000 (including the lawn) is similar to the total seating of 3 500. The stage of this project accepts smaller shows and does not have the technical capacities of the Cogeco.

This building is expected to blend in the landscape rather than being an urban landmark.


Project Team

Architect Atelier Paul Laurendeau
Project Architect and Lead Designer Paul Laurendeau

Theatre Consultant Guy Simard