2019 - Merit Award
Architect Patrick Blanchette brought together a multidisciplinary team of eight skilled architectural professionals to create Blanchette Architectes. They collaborate to create harmonious and meticulous storylines throughout the design process.
Patrick Blanchette, president of Blanchette Architectes, devotes all his time and energy to investing in the local economy, cherishing the territory and its northern identity. Without overlooking the size or influence of a project and paying close attention to the needs of every actor involved in its development process. Elaborating a sensory architecture based on emotions and memories. Reflected through the choice and quality of the selected elements within every project, thus creating a rich and unique architectural language.
《SDC du Village (Montreal Gay Village Business Development Corporation)》
Category | Spatial design & Architectural design
Group | Professional
The SDC du Village, or Montreal Gay Village Business Development Corporation, is a flexible space; part place for artistic expression, part offices housing the organization’s logistics, part space for cultural engagement. The SDC du Village is a multi-function company with a storefront. Accordingly, as City of Montreal regulations do not allow the presence of any corporate programs on the ground floor of buildings in this area, Blanchette Architectes designed a series of steel-structured cubes that could be moved around. These structures house the offices, deconstructing the geometry of the space and offering a multitude of different configurations around and within these sub-spaces. Such modularity addresses the needs of the many different programs hosted by the SDC du Village. A ramp ensures the building is accessible to everyone from the street.
The decision to include gender-neutral bathrooms is a step in the same direction. In response to the homonormativity prevalent in the Gay Village, the cubes build, disassemble and rebuild the office spaces, turning them into a communal area where LGBTQ+ communities can feel they have somewhere they can express themselves. The versatility of possible configurations and the fluidity of the moving space are symbolic of the queerness that has in recent years been a part of changing values in the Gay Village.
The building’s architecture is in turn echoed by the diversity of the events that take place there: art exhibitions, cultural engagement events, gatherings of all kinds—every day the SDC is a completely non-judgmental hotbed of activity with no interest in gender, sexuality or ethnicity. Here, free expression is not just respected, but encouraged, and moreover is spatially facilitated by the many flexible display spaces created by the movements of the cubic shapes. The top-quality, highly varied programming benefits from the support of a dedicated exhibition curator. The SDC also acts as a tourist information center, raising awareness of both Gay Village values and its history across recent decades.
Another of the SDC’s missions is to support local retailers and foster the growth of businesses connected with this rather special district. With this inclusive spirit in mind, and in response to the modest budget allocated to the project, the simple, inexpensive materials selected help create a neutral feel in the bare main space. Simple design details facilitated communication between architects, contractor and client, the latter playing a full part in the design process.