An important place in the contemporary history of Quebec

The Esplanade Tranquille designed by Les architectes FABG constitutes the last phase of a project to develop the public spaces of the West Pole of the Quartier des Spectacles in Montreal. Its name pays tribute to the Tranquille Bookstore, once located on the site, an important place in the contemporary history of Quebec where the Refus global manifesto was launched in 1948.

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Located at a nerve center of the city core, at the junction of Saint-Laurent Boulevard and Sainte-Catherine Street, the esplanade has a complementary vocation to that of the Place des Festivals by offering citizens a refrigerated ice rink in winter, and a little greenery and freshness in summer. A varied program of shows and activities makes it a place of relaxation and entertainment all year round. It energizes the process of transformation of the city center, which is becoming more and more a living environment inhabited in a diversified way, as validated by the construction of new apartment buildings adjacent to this new public space.

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The volume of the linear building has been segmented into three spaces, separated by terraces and largely fenestrated, and analogous to the inhabited shop windows that line the Place des Festivals. These three boxes, located upstairs and containing public relaxation areas, have a solid wood structure evoking the reassuring and warm atmosphere of a chalet, while overlooking the ice rink and the public space.

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The choice of a wooden frame also results from a desire to set an example for sustainable development. Thus, the energy required for the ice rink and the building is supplied by a network of geothermal wells, and all heat released by the pumps of the refrigeration system is recovered. Additionally, the roofs are covered with a garden roof producing herbs and vegetables that are used by the restaurateur, etc…

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The project is the result of multidisciplinary work coordinated by the architect involving engineers, landscape architects, interior designers, industrial designers, scenography consultants, and lighting designers to produce a public space enriched by this collaborative process. Once known for its bars and other infamous establishments, the Red Light sector is being reborn by now offering a safe, pleasant, and inclusive living environment.

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About FABG

Founded in 1954, and formerly known as Blouin et Associés, FABG changed its name in 1988 to reflect the succession of a third generation of management of the firm that now exceeds fifty years. Since its founding, the team has averaged twenty members, and movements within the staff are quite rare. This stability is necessary for the transmission of a corporate culture that promotes the quality of service and products delivered. The company offers comprehensive architectural services, with specialized expertise in cultural venues and restoration and renovation projects that have earned it more than 50 awards and mentions of excellence, both at home and abroad.