Playing ball in Montreal: Saucier + Perrotte / Hughes Condon Marler Architects

The mayor of Montreal, Gérald Tremblay, recently unveiled the winning project in the architecture competition for the new indoor soccer centre at the Saint-Michel Environmental Complex (SMEC). The jury has chosen the concept developed by Saucier + Perrotte / Hughes Condon Marler Architects from among the four submitted by the finalist firms.

“First of all, I would like to congratulate the winners of this architecture competition, who have demonstrated daring and creativity,” the mayor said. “This is one more step toward the completion of this long-awaited project, which will provide Montrealers with access to a sports centre that is not only functional but boasts a modern design meeting the highest standards of quality. This public building, a testament to the talent of our local architects, will be incorporated into the SMEC, one of the largest parks in Montreal.”

For her part, Manon Barbe, Ville de Montreal executive committee member responsible for Sports and Recreation, said: “Soccer is constantly growing in popularity in the province of Quebec as well as in Montreal, where there are more than 40,000 competitive players. The indoor soccer centre therefore fills a real need. Soccer is an accessible sport, and with this new facility it will remain so year-round.”

And Helen Fotopulos, executive committee member responsible for Culture, Heritage, Design and the Status of Women, noted: “As a UNESCO City of Design, Montreal encourages designers to contribute to the city’s future. I salute the outstanding quality of the artistic and architectural expression seen in the winning concept, which also incorporates best practices in sustainable development.”

A wooden roof atop a glass envelope

The roof of the new soccer centre on the site of the former Miron quarry will call to mind a mineral stratum, eloquently heralding the structure as seen from Avenue Papineau. The volumes of the building will rise like a series of luminous crystals among the trees in the wooded embankment bordering the avenue, lending a human scale to the project to observers in the residential neighbourhood on the other side of Papineau, and inviting citizens to explore the SMEC park.The centre will include one full-size soccer pitch that can be subdivided into smaller surfaces for seven-a-side play; locker rooms; a fitness and physiotherapy room; an event and restaurant area; and a family rest area. The centre will also house the offices of the Association régionale de soccer Montréal Concordia. Pursuant to Montreal’s policy on sustainable development for municipal buildings, the Ville de Montreal is targeting LEED-NC (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, New Construction) Gold certification for this exemplary structure.

The jury also awarded a special mention to the firm Éric Pelletier Architectes for its concept, which displayed remarkable functional qualities, placing the user first and creating connections between sports activities and the park.

The total cost of the new soccer centre is $28.3 million, with the Ville de Montréal investing $15.6 million and the governments of Canada and Quebec contributing another $12.7 million through the Building Canada Fund – Quebec.