Aquatics centre design yields powerful statement with modest means
Showcasing sky, water and plain. The Lemay team behind Beloeil’s new aquatics centre has delivered a strong yet sensitive architectural response to a unique context. In close collaboration with the client and contractor, the project shows how judicious design can raise a modestly budgeted project above the fray as it integrates with the surrounding landscape.
The concept is based on the melding of two geometries with distinct and complementary materialities: a translucent and luminous glass case set on a solid black base. Combining opacity and transparency, it embodies the contrast between the agricultural lands and the brightness of the sky that characterize the region. Smooth and shiny by day, the light box transforms at nightfall to reveal the depth of its structure and the nature of the aquatic activities taking place inside. A system of vertical acoustic louvers acts as a diffuser of natural and artificial light, creating an impression of fluid vibrations both inside and outside the water.
The envelope’s opaque panels and curtain wall offer rich, vibrating textures and intriguing architectural variations, modulated according to the observer’s perspective. The interiors are flooded with natural light. The southeast façade’s alignment with the iconic Mont Saint-Hilaire allows users to swim, bathe or slide into the pools while maintaining contact with the mountain. By designing the centre as a function of the surrounding natural beauty, our experts in architecture, interior design and landscape architecture have created a meaningful landmark for the Beloeil community.