Governor General's Medals in Architecture — 2010 Recipient

Scandinave Les Bains Vieux-Montréal
Award Category: 
Governor General’s Medals in Architecture

Saucier + Perrotte architectes

Lead design architect(s): 

Gilles Saucier, FIRAC
André Perrotte, FIRAC

Located in the heart of historic Old Montreal, Scandinave Les Bains Vieux-Montréal is an urban spa whose purpose is to provide a thermal therapy experience that engages each of the body’s senses. The formal parti of the project is derived from the contact between hot and cold — the design distills the idea of cool glacial forms and the warmness of volcanic rocks. White angular masses of glacial topography coupled with volcanic geology bespeak the duality that is central to the thermal therapeutic experience proposed by the spa. This duality is articulated through the spaces’ forms and the selection of materials.

Jury Comment(s): 

"Of the submitted projects, this one displays an incredible restraint, accompanied with a meticulous technical control, such that any evidence of detailing is silenced – foregrounding the sensory effects of the space.  This is all the more important given that the project occupies an existing building, replete with architectural obstacles: punched windows, a column grid, and infrastructure that would otherwise compromise any intervention within the space.  Within a banal context, right next to the sidewalk, the project “transports” and distances its audience to another place."

"The luminescent and mysterious presence of this program, inserted within the walls of an Old Montreal building along de la Commune street, facing the port and the fog of the open sea it inevitably evokes, keeps its promises when we enter this space dedicated to the care of the body. The interior architecture and the subtlety of the visual and tactile relations (matter, surface, ground, ceiling, air and light) provide a rare and precious timeless sensory experience."

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photos: Marc Cramer