- Design Team:Caroline Lajoie, Chloé Barabé-Pépin, Jaques Dion, Véronique, Boulet, Steve Devost, Jennifer Lavoie-Plourde, Geneviève Gagnon, Émilie Turgeon
- Architect In Charge:Carl Charron, Jonathan Bisson
Text description provided by the architects. Located on the western shore of Lake Temiscouata in the heart of the latest addition to the Quebec network of national parks, the Anse à William Discovery and Visitors Centre is a material symbol of the communion between man and nature.
Formerly a crossroads for development and trade at the junction of an inland waterway and dry land, Anse-à-William has now become a gathering place for park visitors. With the construction of this new Discovery and Visitors Centre, the SÉPAQ offers a place that both enhances and showcases the heritage of a natural site of collective memory.
During the execution of this new building, particular attention was paid in order to limit any disturbance and the effects on the immediate surroundings. Its volume was planned so that it affords views across the lake and the Montagne du Fourneau, while at the same time creating restful outdoor areas sheltered from the prevailing winds and direct sunlight during the warm season.
The convergence of the two built volumes, which fit one inside the other, gives rise to a meeting place, a permeable hall between the lake and forest which combines a services area and museum area while being a place for welcoming visitors.
In line with the SÉPAQ’s values, which foster environmental conservation and protection, the entire project was developed according to sustainable design strategies, including the site’s ecological layout, efficient water management and energy conservation. In concrete terms, the use of local materials, the hybrid active passive mechanical system, a solar chimney and the green roof all bear witness to a determination to respect this site, a precious public asset.
True to its rich past, today this building of transit and assembly is the starting point for a journey enabling visitors to retrace history and explore the rich plant and wildlife diversity that is characteristic of this area.
Like Grey Owl, a forerunner of the environmental movement who lived for several years on the territory, the Discovery and Visitors Centre has a symbiotic relationship with nature, while also serving the needs of the park, as a shelter, a safe haven…