Because the Université de Montréal's student population has not stopped growing over the last number of years, it established a presence in Laval more than a decade ago. As a result, it became a priority to establish a university campus in the heart of downtown Laval.
Located at the end of the subway line in Laval (Montmorency Station, a 2006 Pomerleau project) and next to the regional Agence Métropolitaine de Transport terminal, the Cité du Savoir building has the advantage of being well situated for students, teachers and university and local business staff, as it is easily accessible by public transportation from anywhere in the Greater Montreal Area. In addition, a bike path runs nearby, encouraging a more active mode of transportation. Cyclists have bike racks, changing rooms and showers at their disposal on campus.
Pomerleau, with its design team, ensured that it presented a project that met the needs of the university. The university's premises include lecture halls, a cafeteria, student lounges, a library, computer labs, the Faculty of Nursing Sciences and its laboratories, the Psychology Department, arts and sciences workshops, and offices for administrative and teaching staff.
Another component of the project was the construction of the urban area, Place Claude-Léveillée (formerly Place du Carillon), carried out for the City of Laval. The theme of this area is music, and its integration into the built elements gives it the form of a grand piano. The core element is composed of a tower equipped with bells that ring out in a perfectly choreographed accompaniment of fountains and lights.
Although the project was not seeking LEED certification, many energy-efficient and sustainable development measures were incorporated. These included heat island elimination, stormwater management, energy savings and recuperation, and the use of local material with low emissions.