The new St-Michel Environmental Complex (CESM) is a site marked by change and evolution. From its beginnings as a major mining centre and landfill, the topography and symbolism of the land is now one of the largest parks and recreational centres in the city of Montreal.
On the site of the former Miron quarry, the new Stade de Soccer emerges from the park’s artificial topography finished in elZinc® Slate in an effort of recalling the geological nature of the site. The mineral design is articulated by a continuous elZinc® roof, which cantilevers over the entry plaza and folds down over the interior soccer field. In the second phase of the project, the elZinc® roof will extend to the ground to become the spectator seating for the outdoor field.
To ensure the unity of the soccer centre over different programs and construction phases, the main building appears as a single gesture with laminated wood structure supporting the roof. The roof’s crossing beams form a seemingly arbitrary, yet strategic, lattice design.
Along Papineau Avenue, the architecture adapts to the existing landscape with an elevated pedestrian path while preserving the existing trees. A subsequent series of crystals emerge from the landscape to provide daylight and views for the administrative and public spaces behind.
Large crystal windows encapsulating the main lobby emerges from the terrain’s southeast end, signalling the entrance of the soccer centre. These luminous elements and preserved vegetation give the Stade de Soccer a critical human scale that respects the residential neighbourhood it faces. The transparency of the building also promotes a sense of openness.
On the public entrance level, the corridor is continuous from the plaza entry, through the lobby and central programmatic spaces, permitting access directly to the stands. For the second level, the corridor extends toward onto the exterior playing surface where it integrates with the exterior stands formed in elZinc®.
The design team worked closely with the engineers of Nordic Structures to develop the structural concept of the project. The structure of Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is the only one of its kind in the world. It is composed of multiple lumber boards layered crosswise at 90° angles and bonded together using structural adhesives.
Cross-laminated timber provides new design possibilities, facilitating the construction of structures with an organic and architecturally creative look. It is a construction material that is light, cost-effective and sustainable. The wood used in this case was locally sourced and contains 90% Black Spruce.
The main roof is finished in Angle Standing Seam elZinc® Slate proudly distributed by our amazing ETG team and installed by Clermont Ltd. elZinc® Slate was selected for it’s natural pre-patinated finish in matte grey that blends perfectly with other building materials and appears naturally weathered.
The roof supported by thirteen separate 69m long uncambered box beams, 500mm wide by 4100mm high, constructed of a combination of Nordic Lam glued-laminated timber and Nordic X-Lam CLT, each weighing 77 tonnes. The wood structure is flexible and allows the integration of mechanical systems. Lighting fixtures are placed under the mesh’s beams highlighting the seemingly random pattern.
P / A Progressive Architecture Award Architecture Magazine 2014 Citation (2014) //// CESM Indoor Soccer Challenge Winner (2012) //// Wood Design Awards, Honor Award //// OAA Design Excellence Awards /// / Architizer A + Awards, Special Mention Architecture + Wood //// Finalist, WAN Sports in Architecture Awards //// Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize, Appointed in projects 2014/15 //// 2018 Governor General’s Medal in Architecture