Capturing the Climate and Culture of Quebec City: Behind the Design of Centre Videotron
September 18, 2015
Quebec City is an iconic destination, one of the most historic European settlements in North America and is known for the way the people embrace the winter months. Visiting Quebec City in January, you can’t help but notice that the cold doesn’t keep anyone from enjoying the outdoors. So when we were selected to design a new arena – Centre Videotron – for the city, we, along with ABCP, focused on creating a visual representation of the city’s climate and culture using the following for inspiration:
- Snow Drifts
Our design concept for the Centre Videotron draws inspiration from a snow drift. The exterior form is a simple expression of snow drifting on the landscape that manifests itself in a ribbon contour around the arena. We aimed to capture the spirit and culture of the city in a truly elegant and sophisticated way by selecting white painted metal panels that are sculptural in form, revealing organically shaped bands of glass in between. The pure white color reflects light like snow, as well as offers a blank canvas for projection mapping light shows. The light shows will be a distinct and beautiful sight for the entire district on event nights. The simple elliptical shape of the arena is extremely functional, with little space wasted. We designed the lobby space as a rectilinear contrast to intersect with the rest of the curved façade.
- Lumber Industry
Inspired by nature and nearby forests, the arena facade is supported by exposed laminated wood members, providing a warm contrast on interior concourses. An elegant wood veil wraps the transparent entry lobby, with glazing playfully accented by translucent drifting ribbons to create a warm and flexible environment within.
- Canadian Hockey Traditions
While multi-purpose in function, the seating bowl was designed with hockey in mind. The steep rake of seating promotes an extremely intimate experience and the feeling of being right on top of the action taking place on Centre Videotron’s fast ice. The bowl design still allows for maximum flexibility to ensure the arena’s viability for decades to come with capacities ranging from 18,100 people for an NHL hockey game to as few as 3,500 people for an intimate theater experience.
We cannot wait for the residents and visitors to Quebec City to experience and be inspired by the new Centre Videotron. The arena marks a new day in the sports and entertainment landscape of Quebec City and will have a long lasting and positive impact on the city and surrounding region – and residents will immediately see the authenticity of the building’s design.
Photography copyright Stephane Groleau