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AZ Awards 2021 • Concepts
The finalists
Concepts ◆ Unbuilt Projects
Are
Finalist
Project
Duwamish Crossings
Location
Seattle, U.S.
Firm
Wittman Estes, U.S.
Summary
A response to the overburdened West Seattle Bridge (currently closed for urgent structural repairs), this proposal envisions a new steel-frame structure to replace it, joined by two additional crossings built further south. Besides introducing dedicated traffic lanes that would better cater to cyclists, drivers and pedestrians, this trio of passageways would also improve access to the city’s long-disconnected South Park neighbourhood. Meanwhile, savvy ecological strategies — like an air filtering system to combat pollution from the neighbouring industrial plants and a new marshland that would restore a portion of the Duwamish River’s original shape — serve to lead the city back to its natural roots.
Finalist
Project
Marguerite-d’Youville Elementary School
Location
Saguenay, Canada
Firms
Étienne Bernier Architecture (Canada); APPAREIL Architecture (Canada) and BGLA (Canada)
Summary
Sensitive. Contextual. Contemporary. What makes the Marguerite-d’Youville Elementary School in the city of Saguenay, Quebec, an award-winning project — even before its completion — can be distilled into these three words. The combined effort of Étienne Bernier Architecture, APPAREIL Architecture and BGLA, the building is one of five winners in the Lab-École competition, a project reimagining the future of educational infrastructure in communities along the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, and it marries the unique talents of each practice to spectacular effect.
Finalist
Project
Théâtre de Verdure
Location
Montreal, Canada
Firm
Lemay, Canada
Summary
Like any acclaimed stage revival, Lemay’s successor to the previous open-air theatre at Montreal’s La Fontaine Park promises to be faithful to its source material while also speaking to today’s audience. New concrete bleachers maintain the same modern spirit as the park’s original 1956 venue, but will now co-star alongside a boxy steel platform cleverly designed to hide AV equipment while framing scenic pond views. Indeed, between shows, the slotted pavilion will become its own main attraction, inviting urban park-goers to take it over and enjoy a dramatic new outlook on their surroundings.
And
Concepts ◆ Unbuilt Projects
The Peoples Choice
Is
Project
Théâtre de Verdure
Location
Montreal, Canada
Firm
Lemay, Canada

Like any acclaimed stage revival, Lemay’s successor to the previous open-air theatre at Montreal’s La Fontaine Park promises to be faithful to its source material while also speaking to today’s audience. New concrete bleachers maintain the same modern spirit as the park’s original 1956 venue, but will now co-star alongside a boxy steel platform cleverly designed to hide AV equipment while framing scenic pond views.

Indeed, between shows, the slotted pavilion will become its own main attraction, inviting urban park-goers to take it over and enjoy a dramatic new outlook on their surroundings.

Team Eric Pelletier, Maria Benech and Marie-Ève Parent with Yanick Casault, Marie-Claude Leblond, Maryse Ballard, Arnaud Villard, Sophie Lacoste, Eric St-Pierre, Isabelle Brosseau, Alejandro Mendoza Vazquez, Jean Deslauriers, Xavier Bellefeuille, Daniel Smith and Francois Ménard

And
Concepts ◆ Unbuilt Projects
The Winner
Is
Project
Marguerite-d’Youville Elementary School
Location
Saguenay, Canada
Firms
Étienne Bernier Architecture (Canada); APPAREIL Architecture (Canada) and BGLA (Canada)
Kim Pariseaum, Stéphan Gilbert, Étienne Bernier, Johanie Boivin, Jérome Duval, Marc-Olivier Champagne-Thomas, Marc-Antoine Juneau: 2021 AZ Award Winners in Unbuilt Projects

Sensitive. Contextual. Contemporary. What makes the Marguerite-d’Youville Elementary School in the city of Saguenay, Quebec, an award-winning project — even before its completion — can be distilled into these three words. The combined effort of Étienne Bernier Architecture, APPAREIL Architecture and BGLA, the building is one of five winners in the Lab-École competition, a project reimagining the future of educational infrastructure in communities along the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, and it marries the unique talents of each practice to spectacular effect.

“This project has so many fun and playful elements.”
Susannah Drake, AZ Awards 2021 Juror

First, there’s the particularly residential feel to the 3,400-square-metre institution. Taking cues from the surrounding Chicoutimi borough, the architects separated the programs — 15 classrooms, gathering spaces, a gymnasium and a tiered amphitheatre, among others — into individual “houses” along the U-shaped footprint to capture the village-like quality of the community.

(more…)
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