An essential site for sports, community and culture inspired by coastal geography

An essential site for sports, community and culture inspired by coastal geography

The unifying project of the Sept-Îles Arena creates essential space for the engagement and interactions that are key to building strong social bonds. As a landmark with a capacity of 1,500 spectators on Laure Boulevard, a major axis of the city, this arena provides not only a crucial source for ice sports, activities and cultural activations, but it does so with an architectural design inspired by natural landscapes and history.      

An evocative yet sensitive approach expressing the deep-water bay and archipelago the city faces on the Gulf of the St. Lawrence’s north shore, the arena’s contemporary amphitheatre of black metal resembles a great island rising over the horizon of the sea and the shadow it casts upon the water. Just below this volume, bands of transparent glass and aluminium recall the ice within and the movement of waves on the region’s landscape as natural light passes through. As the eye travels down from the heights of the building, it rests on ‘shores’ where the plant life of landscapes encircles the structure and recall the coastline of Côte-Nord. Together, these layers create a cinematographic and kinetic effect that is both motionless and dynamic.

This carefully considered approach to the land extends to the materials chosen for the interior, such as a nod to the surrounding boreal forest with exposed wood, and the aluminium and iron for which Sept-Îles is known for. Athletes, families, friends and spectators are met with clear signage as they enter, directing them to the central arena and communal areas such as a restaurant overlooking the ice.

Looking forward with ways to better serve current and future generations, the Sept-Îles Arena is inspired by more than 60 years of local history and memories steeped in the current Conrad-Parent arena (formerly known as the Palais des Sports). Interconnected and harmonized with the nearby Guy-Carbonneau arena, the new building makes its own room for hall of fame areas which highlight the great builders and figures who have left their mark on the region’s cultural and sporting scene.

Open throughout the year, this arena is a transformative catalyst for the people it serves, responding to their needs for gathering and camaraderie with a modern design of universal accessibility, comfort through aspects such as finely-tuned acoustics and natural light, energy savings, operational efficiency, and a sustainable mindset of resiliency.