Baie-de-Valois Nautical Center / ADHOC architectes + Prisme Architecture
Text description provided by the architects. Located on the shores of Lake St.Louis in Grande-Anse park, the reconstruction of the Baie-de-Valois Chalet is part of a shore revitalization project claimed by Pointe-Claire citizens. The building incorporates a large community hall as well as spaces to enhance the experience and water sports activities offered to over 4000 citizens and visitors who visit this area yearly. Inspired by the geological stratification of the site, the project reflects the surrounding landscape; the angled roof is reminiscent of a tree canopy, the wood cladding embodies the rhythm of tree trunks in a wooden area, and the base of the building represents the geometry of a rocky shoreline.
The geometry of the roof offers an interesting dialogue with the site, it has been designed to optimize passive solar gain and plays an important role in reducing energy consumption. The gesture of the roof translates to the interior of the building, creating an immersive atmosphere that poetically reveals breathtaking views of the river. This canopy rests on a series of glulam columns that make up part of the building’s hybrid steel-wood structure and incorporates a large skylight that promotes the natural ventilation of the spaces and lets diffuse natural light into the community hall.
The main element of the project for its appearance and its ecological properties, wood is both a source of inspiration and a challenge that has accompanied the team since the beginning of the design. Local ash wood resources, recycled from tree cuttings carried out to eradicate emerald ash borer infestations suffered on the territory, are an integral part of the project. It represents a major feature that can be found throughout the project, both on the ceiling and in the design of the exterior awning.
Various widths of planks were chosen to minimize losses in the transformation process of the recuperated wood. This rhythm is furthermore enriched by the integration of a gap between each plank, allowing the contours of the angular ceiling to be highlighted. Those gaps allowed the insertion of linear lighting fixtures between the boards as well as concealing the mechanical and acoustic systems behind the ceiling.
The exterior locally-sourced Eastern white cedar cladding was chosen for its natural appearance as well as to minimize maintenance needs. It was initially stained to mimic a weathered appearance and will therefore require no additional coatings as the natural silver patina of the wood will progressively take over. An overlay of various types of cedar planks also creates a graphic effect on the facades that enhances the project’s concept of creating layers that reflect the surrounding landscape.
In addition to contributing aesthetically to the project, the use of wood contributes to the capture and sequestration of carbon. The Baie-de-Valois chalet takes up the challenge of offering citizens the possibility of reclaiming the shores while fighting against climate change. Fitting harmoniously and naturally into its landscape, the pavilion is revealed from the outside, while from the inside, it offers a breathtaking view of the beauty of the lake.