Montreal theatre in La Fontaine Park redesigned with innovative four-season concept

Montreal’s Théâtre de Verdure in La Fontaine Park, originally inaugurated in 1956, has been redesigned with a new four-season concept that redefines the relationship between theatre and park.

Guided by an inclusive and pluralistic vision that broadens the theatre’s mission and reaffirms its heritage identity, this public space has been made more open and accessible for visitors.

For accessibility at all times, even outside of performances, the project design firm, Lemay created new entrances and extended the pedestrian path around the basin. By planting a low vegetative cover and preserving the canopy, new perspectives that open up both on the theatre and on the surrounding park have been created, making the theatre pop within the site, rather than shielding it from view.

The site’s reanimation goes beyond the notion of a standalone stage and creates a new theatrical destination integrated with nature, allowing everyone to rediscover not only the Théâtre de Verdure, but also its park and basin.

Complete with a first-rate stage infrastructure, the venue is ready to host major outdoor artistic productions, comfortably accommodating crowds of up to 2,500 spectators who can watch from the space’s seats or dedicated greenspace.

Lemay applied the sustainable strategies of its NET POSITIVE™ framework to minimize the project’s impact on the environment. Designers practically made all spaces open to the outside; even the green room, which is a balcony that projects onto the pond surrounding the theatre. Interventions were kept to a minimum on the site to increase the area’s vegetative cover and augment the theatre’s integration into the landscape.

Locally available materials were preferred, such as Douglas fir, which is native to Canada, over Ipe, a Brazilian wood species that is often used in similar structures.

“Intervening on the Théâtre de Verdure was an incredible opportunity to offer its visitors an architectural, landscape, and artistic experience. In an approach where the limits between the two became blurred, the project developed as a vast scenography of the landscape through architecture,” says Eric Pelletier, senior partner at Lemay and lead designer on the project.

Other project collaborators are:

Mechanical and electrical engineer Bouthillette Parizeau; stuctural engineer, Calculatec Inc.; civil engineer, Marchand Houle; acoustic specialists, Atelier 7Hz; forestry engineering, Luc Nadeau; scenographer, Trizart Alliance; regulations consultant, Technorm; and general contractor, Axe Construction.

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