A majestic crystalline prism bursting from its centre, the Diamant Theatre is striking in both effect and execution. The architects faced a seemingly impossible task: to build a performance and creation space at a central Québec City intersection already occupied by a Second Empire–style building that once served as a YMCA. After restoring the stone facade of the original heritage site, they built around it, tucking the new theatre — a multi-purpose, 650-seat venue in a concrete box — just behind the preserved structure. A serpentine glass and steel atrium, which contains public foyers and mezzanines, stretches overtop and touches down in the alleyways to either side. The connective tissue between the two buildings, this crowning jewel — which glows like an urban lantern at night — announces an innovative project as respectful of history as it is suitably theatrical, one that exemplifies infill architecture at its most nimble.
Project Diamant Theatre | Engraved in the Memory Location Québec City, Canada Firms Coarchitecture (Canada), Atelier In Situ (Canada) and Jacques Plante Architecte (Canada) Team Marie-Chantal Croft, Alain Tousignant, Annie Lebel, Jacques Plante and Martin Grandbois Photos Stéphane Groleau