A public hub for arts and culture is reanimated in one of Montreal’s greatest greenspaces
Architecture and design firm Lemay proudly introduces its stunning redesign of Montreal’s Théâtre de Verdure, originally inaugurated in 1956. The theatre has now been enhanced with a new 4-season concept that redefines the relationship between theatre and park, architecture and landscape, and the built and the natural. Guided by an inclusive and pluralistic vision that broadens the theatre’s mission and reaffirms its heritage identity, this public space has been made more open and accessible than ever for lovers of arts and culture.
Framing the landscape of La Fontaine Park by opening onto it, the architecture of the Théâtre de Verdure maximizes views of both the stage and the surrounding greenspace. Lemay’s new design makes its presence felt from the banks of the water basin all the way into the interior of the park, with different uses arranged in a way that promote a timeless presence. Designed to contribute to the experience of visitors and passers-by, the architecture invites discovery, both inside and outside the site. The result is a new green, modern, and lively public space that offers a vibrant place for lovers of arts and culture to witness unforgettable moments.
The site’s reanimation goes beyond the notion of a standalone stage and creates a new theatrical destination integrated with nature, allowing everyone to rediscover not only the Théâtre de Verdure, but also its park and its basin. Complete with a first-rate stage infrastructure, the venue is ready to host major outdoor artistic productions, comfortably accommodating crowds of up to 2,500 spectators who can watch from the space’s seats or dedicated greenspace while being carried away by the spellbinding scenery and what is happening on stage.
Lemay applied the sustainable strategies of its NET POSITIVE™ framework to minimize the project’s impact on the environment. Designers made practically all spaces open to the outside; even the green room, which is a balcony that projects onto the pond surrounding the theatre. Interventions were kept to a minimum on the site to increase the area's vegetative cover and augment the theatre’s integration into the landscape. Locally available materials were preferred, such as Douglas fir, which is native to Canada, over ipe, a Brazilian wood species that is often used in similar structures.
This emblematic site is a well-known hub of arts and culture, hosting thousands of free shows over the years. As of this year, artists of all stripes are taking to its stage once again with a celebratory calendar of free performances ranging from works of dance and sweeping orchestral performances, to theatre shows and circus feats.
Lemay has been imagining new ways to create spaces that engage users and bring people together since 1957. Over 400 architects, designers, industry leaders, and change-makers work tirelessly to cultivate innovation in their own backyards, and in communities around the world. Inspired and strengthened by transdisciplinary creativity, the firm has also developed its very own NET POSITIVETM approach to guide teams towards sustainable solutions that shape a better future. With the human experience at its heart, Lemay strives to design with empathy and create spaces to grow.