Cardin Julien recently designed the new visitor center for the Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles. The exploration center features an interpretation center for the river and its ecosystems and will host sporting and educational activities on an annual basis. The park's reception pavilion will provide special access to its protected wildlife zone, which is the largest one in the entire metropolitan area.
Parc de la Rivière des Mille-Îles' multipurpose center will serve the City of Laval as a community and educational resource, a service area, and a support center for the park's activities. It is open to the general public, schools, and children's groups.
The main building is comprised of 3 floors. The ground floor is home to a large multipurpose hall that has a view of the river (café, reception, diffusion), a monitoring room (conferences and events), and museum programming (exhibition, animal reserve). The lower level (river level) houses the equipment rental area and a locker room, an ecology laboratory, researchers' offices, and day camp facilities. A multipurpose room, which can be rented and divided into three sections, is located upstairs alongside the employee relaxation area.
In order for the project to integrate seamlessly into its environment, the use of wood was recommended for the building's exterior. This material, which can also be found inside the building, fosters a warm environment and allows a connection between visitors and the nature around them. Besides, the structure was built in such a way that it preserves the mature trees growing onsite.
The project also included a renovation of the old stable, repurposing it as a workshop and equipment distribution kiosk (watercraft, docks, supports). Also, the project entailed designing a new exterior site to include parking, a bike path, pedestrian walkways, and landscaping.
Photography: David Boyer