Scholars House – McGill Campus
To create a dialogue between the past and the future through the medium of natural light.
This was the guiding vision behind the Scholars House project, whose mission is to host and support students from Canada and around the world pursuing graduate studies in Montreal. The project proposed a living environment conducive to shaping tomorrow’s leaders, within a community dedicated to the exchange of ideas, the value of academic experiences and the advancement of knowledge. Architecture played a pivotal role in facilitating such connections, creating a positive homelike environment in which exchanges took on such a significant dimension that they became the very foundations and identity of the place.
Maison des Boursiers McGill
Located on McTavish Street, in the heart of McGill University’s campus, the project brought together and interwove three heritage residences.
Observed from the street, the heritage houses strike a reassuring presence with their familiar scale and their materiality typical of the neighbourhood. Resting on the renovated cornice, the atrium window is revealed as a contemporary gesture in this historical and richly dense ensemble. To the rear, a new, brilliant volume emerges impressively. Covered with enamelled terracotta tiles, notable for their solidity and durability, it is in harmony with the existing red bricks of the facades lining the lane. With its brilliance, reflectivity, iridescence and large windows, it embodies the notion of a promising future. The atrium rises through the centre and looms over the two-volume ensemble, the new and the old, bathing them in daylight.
In the heart of the residence, this atrium acts as the community’s anchor. It structures the principal circulation paths, deploying illuminated staircases, and creates a space conducive to exchanges between students, scholars and the public.
The Scholars House, whose design is inspired by biophilia, is sensitive to issues of durability, performance, energy, efficiency, efficient waste management, well-being and health. Located at the foot of Mount Royal, it is the embodiment of beauty and sensitivity, while also being grounded in science and state-of-the-art practices, ensuring the ensemble a greater permanence.