A new model for the 21st century
Inside and out, Montreal’s Bibliothèque du Boisé looks – and feels – radically different from most public libraries. That’s because lending books is just one part of a larger mandate.
Its design needed to reflect revolutionary changes in the way we store and consume information. Its location was fragile and unique.
Our team reflected deeply on how to uncover the project’s potential. To encourage learning through collaboration. To be a model for sustainable development. And, ultimately, to give back to the multicultural borough of Saint-Laurent.
A subtle statement
Its architecture softens a busy urban boulevard. It emerges from gentle hills, plants and pathways. It fades into its namesake forest, the Boisé of Marcel Laurin Park.
Once inside, users discover welcoming spaces bathed in natural light. Wooden surfaces create a sense of warmth and belonging. Massive windows bring the outdoors in. Open areas encourage interaction; cozy reading areas offer a more intimate experience. Multifunctional rooms enable collaboration, exhibits and events.
A sustainability first
Once described as “the greenest library in Canada,” the Boisé Library was the first to earn LEED-Platinum environmental certification (the highest level).
A passive heating system and geothermal energy make for tremendous energy savings. It has certified wood and low-emission materials, as well as recycled and local materials. Among other innovations, its flowerbed is a rainwater retention garden and its large glass column is a heat exchanger.
Weaving together the park and the city, the Boisé Library invites all to explore it, inside and out. It reinvents the traditional library as a lively place for gathering, exchange, learning and discovery. A true community destination!