ACDF Architecture has created a new arts centre for the suburban municipality of Repentigny. The Diane-Dufresne Art Centre's architecture, including its siting, massing, circulation and materiality, are instrumental in reinventing the desired community image. It plays with notions of rootedness while gesturing to a vibrant future, instilling a sense of belonging and optimism. Familiar yet distinct, it invites visitors in and encourages long, lingering stays.
With this project, the Municipality of Repentigny and ACDF conceived of the centre as a part of a larger master plan. It is the kick-off element to transform a once-sparse, underutilized park into a cultural corridor with thematic gardens, a civic plaza and a theatre. The design team positioned the building at the nexus of new walking paths, linking a main boulevard with surrounding residential lanes, helping to draw people to the site.
The studio reinterpreted classical principles - a carefully proportioned colonnade in front of a calm reflecting pool, a monolithic materiality, and a solid, reassuring appearance - with its signature, contemporary sophistication. A number of the columns are off kilter to foster moments of encounter; the materiality is a glinting stainless steel; and the inner mass is sub-divided into three sinuous, Aalto-esque volumes, each of which conceals the centre's Multipurpose room, dance recital space and main gallery area. These spaces again balance functionality and flair. Each interior is understated to let the art shine, and was designed to optimize acoustics and lighting.
Photography: Adrien William