Achraf Benhabbaz, Andrew Mendoza, Henri Bazinet
University of Montreal

Project idea

La Houle embodies a groundbreaking vision for a new library in the neighborhood. Departing from conventional paradigms, this endeavor aims to redefine and rejuvenate the essence of a library, tailored to the evolving demands of the community. Embracing an avant-garde ethos, La Houle evolves into a dynamic hub that transcends traditional confines. It not only functions as a reservoir of knowledge but also seamlessly integrates diverse amenities tailored to community needs.

At its core, the essence of "La Houle" lies in maintaining a delicate balance between bustling communal activities and moments of tranquil contemplation. Recognizing the inherent vitality and diversity of the neighborhood, it fosters an inclusive environment where the library becomes a vibrant social nexus rather than merely a haven for quiet reflection.

Project description

As visitors journey through the space, they encounter a seamless blend of bustling activity and serene retreats, symbolizing the diverse cadence of community life. This harmony underscores the significance of both vibrant engagement and tranquil contemplation.

Upon entering the library, one immediately notices the thoughtful design of the agora, crafted not only for utmost comfort but also to deliver a distinctive experience, fostering dynamism. Serving as a magnet for the community, this agora converges individuals around various focal points of interest. Its captivating architecture catalyzes social connections, fosters idea exchange, and leaves a lasting impression, thus evolving into the pulsating hub of the library. It solidifies its position as a cultural and social nexus within the community.

Nestled within the adaptable system, private reading pods offer havens from the library's dynamic energy. These spaces are meticulously curated to facilitate concentrated reading and introspection. The modular design empowers users to tailor their reading environment, whether amidst communal buzz or in a secluded, serene pod.

Technical information

This project serves as an extensive exploration of the capabilities of 3D printed concrete technology. The columns of the project are designed to be 3D printed on-site by advanced robotic systems. In a dedicated effort towards research and development, we have conceptualized and designed multiple variations of these columns, rigorously testing and refining them to ensure their feasibility and constructability. The utilization of 3D printed concrete is not just a technical advancement but a pivotal aspect of the project’s identity. This cutting-edge construction method not only allows for intricate and customized designs but also contributes to the sustainability and efficiency of the building process. Lastly, the building’s envelope is conceived as an all-encompassing modular system, ingeniously incorporating private reading pods. These pods serve as secluded sanctuaries where users can attain the ultimate level of serenity, fostering an immersive and personalized reading experience.

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