History in the making: Marieville Library

Following an architecture competition last July in Marieville, a rural community located an hour away from Montreal, Anne Carrier Architecture’s scheme was announced as the winner.

Known for its subtle, light-filled interventions, the firm designed the town’s future library facing the century-old park, which features mature trees, a monument, and a kiosk where open-air concerts can take place. The site borders the town’s main street, which runs parallel to a nearby river and still features historically significant residences.

Perspective view of the north volume, dedicated to community-related activities
Photo credit: Anne Carrier architecture

Over the last few years, Marieville has taken several initiatives to gradually transform this central area into a civic pole where the library and its community-oriented services will play a major role.

The project was slated to be built exactly where once stood Marieville’s former library, which had to be demolished in 2012. The future building’s elongated volume was determined by the narrowness of the site, and the presence of a protected archeological area.

Overall view of the project showing nearby church and park
Photo credit: Anne Carrier architecture

A diagonal line was introduced on the ground floor of the library, as a reminder of the main street’s path. This break in the volume not only facilitates visual connections between the library and the site’s notable features but allows for a small triangular plaza, located off the library entrance.

In their competition entry, the architects opted for transparency and openness, particularly on the west façade facing the park. Services will be kept along the building’s east façade so that all common spaces will enjoy a direct connection with the park’s environment.

Library’s reception and children’s corner at ground level
Photo credit: Anne Carrier architecture

The proposed library consists of two three-level volumes linked by an elevator, a sculptural staircase, and two upper walkways. From the central lobby, open to all three floors, one will be able to visualize the entire building and fully grasp the presence of the church, the park, and the town’s main street, running parallel to the river.

As they come in, users will be directed left, towards the multipurpose room and the dance studio on the ground floor, or right to the library’s reception desk and children’s corner. Up one floor, citizens will have access to a community kitchen, workshop, and classroom on the north side, and to a periodicals area and a small café, part of the library. The building’s entire top floor will be dedicated to library functions, adult and teen sections, reading areas, media lab, and administration.

“Of course we want this to be a library and a cultural facility. But above all, we hope it will be a place conducive to learning and discovery. We were totally seduced by the brightness of the project and by the perspectives submitted by the architects. We were also pleased with the way the building fits within Parc Crevier’s natural environment,” says Marieville’s Mayor, Caroline Gagnon.


Project: Bibliothèque de Marieville
Location: Marieville, Québec
Client: Ville de Marieville
Winning Team: Anne Carrier architecture (AC/a), Lévis, Québec
Design Manager: Anne Carrier, architecte
Project Coordinator: Martin L’hébreux, architecte
Competition Team: Robert Boily, B. arch. / B. Sc.a.
Charles Ferland, architecte; Patricia Pronovost, architecte; Mathieu St-Amant, architecte; Guy-David Paradis, architecte; Andrée-Ève Gaudreault, M. arch.; Jean-Philippe Bélanger, tech. B. arch.
Designers: Anne Carrier, chief architect; Robert Boily b.arch./ b.sc.a.; Patricia Pronovost, architect; Mathieu St-Amant, architect; Martin L’hébreux, architecte

Number of competitors (1st stage): 19

Competing teams (2nd stage) :

  • Anne Carrier Architecture (winning team)
  • Atelier Big City et Cimaise
  • BGLA et EBA
  • Epigraphe, maison d’architecture

Competition results announcement: February 2021

Area: 1155 sq. m.
Budget: $6.5M (planned)
Scheduled Opening: Summer 2023