Bibliothèque Donalda-Charron

Bibliothèque Donalda-Charron 

Awards and distinctions DNA Paris Design Award: Public Architecture, Cultural Architecture, Civic Buildings, 2021 / Prix Les Arts et La Ville: Aménagement catégorie Population de 100 000 habitants et plus, 2021 / Grands Prix du Design: Library, Common Space, Wood Featured in Architecture, 2021 and more!

Developed in partnership with Atelier TAG for an architectural competition organized by the city, the Bibliothèque Donalda-Charron sits at the heart of Gatineau’s Plateau district—a green neighbourhood designed in 2007. The project develops a strong landscaping approach, which contributes to its inclusion in the Parc Central. The transparency of the envelope, continuity of the roof and single-storey layout permit complete democratization of the space, and offer great potential for evolution in the longer and shorter term. 

Gatineau, QC
Institutional, Education, Architecture
Surface area
20,785 ft² / 1,931 m²
Completed (2021)
Atelier TAG (all the project's phases)
LEED Silver targeted
Three structural and technical cores are strategically located in the building, each associated with a particular activity. The workrooms along the north side benefit from a quiet environment and diffused light. On the southern side, administration areas border an outdoor play area. The multipurpose room in the eastern core is part of the continuity of a new urban square and acts as the cultural showcase. The fluid space between the cores is devoted to strolling and discussion, as well as creative and demonstration activities.
The integration of natural elements such as vegetation, sunlight and airflow defines several indoor microcosms and contributes to the ecological character of the project. The planting of greenery on the periphery of the cores facilitates user orientation, and the permeability of the intermediary spaces contributes to passive ventilation strategies. The use of wood as a primary construction material (made visible in the beams of the ceiling) celebrates a local natural resource and reinforces the sense of belonging to the territory.
Between the building and the neighbouring forest, a work by Québécois artist Michel de Broin draws inspiration from local botanical and literary heritage.

Photo credit: Adrien Williams

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