Located in the heart of Montreal, the 50 000 m² of the 6-storey Grande Bibiliothèque offers the public single-point access to an enormous selection of printed and recorded material and underground parking for 400 vehicles. It is also directly linked to the city's busiest subway station.
Pomerleau not only constructed this splendid building but also fit-up the interior. Right from the start, the team was determined that the quality of the finished building would perfectly express the superb design chosen through an international competition. The predominance of glass, 6,200 panes to be exact, and copper give the exterior a modern appeal. This design also allows an abundance of natural light to suffuse the interior, gently filtered by hundreds of wood louvers.
With a choice of 2,900 seats, users can take advantage of quiet places to read, view or listen to material or work with others in the group rooms. Seminar rooms, an auditorium and an exhibition hall are also available to the public.
The library's state-of-the art equipment supports a vast array of in-person and distance services for the entire population of Montreal and the province of Quebec. It houses four million documents, including a million books, all available to its users. A major children's collection is found on the subway level.
The design called for exposed structural concrete throughout most of the building. This meant running all the electromechanical services, including ventilation, electricity, telecommunications and plumbing, underneath 600 mm high raised floors. The plenum serves as the building's air circulation duct. The Ontario Street side of the building features superb landscaping.
The building won the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction Quebec's ARMATURA 2004 AWARD in the Commercial and Institutional category.