With large, flexible spaces, the theater is part of a civic complex designed to host numerous different cultural events
The Repentigny Theater, designed by FABG, is the result of a competition to create a multifunctional, flexible space for cultural events in Quebec where visitors can feel a sense of community. It’s a part of a larger civic complex.
The theater is a lively, inviting place that’s open to everyone. It’s a place where people can see their home town from a different perspective and feel a stronger sense of belonging. Canadian studio FABQ designed the new Repentigny Theater to embody these values as part of the larger civic complex in Quebec. The project won a competition for designing a place for cultural events and community, both needs that were expressed by the local people for quite some time.
The auditorium itself seats 350 people and can be reconfigured depending on the event. It’s especially designed to host theater and classical music performances, but can also accommodate cultural events of various kinds, including less formal affairs, making the building a lively and welcoming place for the whole local community. For this reason, many of the spaces in the theater are reminiscent of town squares – places where people can meet up and spend time together. This idea, translated and reinterpreted, extends to the panoramic terrace overlooking adjacent parkland, a staircase with a large landing, and a foyer with extensive glazing. These spaces all reflect the aim to create places for bringing people together, reflecting the bond between people expressed by the community itself. A connecting thread runs between the interior and exterior, with the windows creating a continuity between the two both physically and visually, while also providing ample natural light.
The panoramic terrace above the entrance overlooks the gardens in front of the building, Île-Lebel park, and, further on, the St. Lawrence River. The terrace has a roof with cross-layered wood panels which, when lit up at night, gives the entire structure a distinct identity, as do the white staircase and entrance. The foyer, a large double-height space with an internal staircase, also has a wooden ceiling.
To ensure the quality of performances and events, and so that the facility is truly multifunctional, the walls of the auditorium and orchestra pit are covered with vertical slats and sound-absorbing mineral wool panels to produce optimal and adaptable acoustics, eliminating the effects of echo and reverberation. Similar flexibility can be found in the seating, which, besides the classic tiered fan arrangement, can be transformed into cabaret or banquet styles.
The outdoor spaces at ground level are also multifunctional and can be freely configured to create accessible, pleasant meeting places. In this way, the design of the project has benefitted the entire area between the theater and the Diane-Dufresne Art Centre.
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Location: Repentigny, Canada
Architect: Les architectes FABG
Commissioning date: May 2021
Client: City of Repentigny
General contractor: l'archvêque et Rivest ltée
Mechanical/Electrical Engineer: SNC-LAVALINC
Civil/Structural Engineer: Tetra Tech QI Inc
Scenographers: Go Multimédia
Landscape Architect: Fauteux et Associés
Photography by Steve Montpetit, courtesy of Les architectes Fabg