2022

MCHAP

New Paddocks - Grand Prix du Canada F1

Les Architectes FABG

Montreal, Canada

June 2019

PRIMARY AUTHOR

Éric Gauthier

CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR

Thomas Evans, Marc Paradis, Nicolas Moussa

CLIENT

Bertrand Houriez

PHOTOGRAPHER

Steve Montpetit

OBJECTIVE

The new Paddocks can accomodate 13 teams, each of which have two front access for single-seaters, drivers and technical teams, as well as a service access located at the rear of the building for equipment or for quick access to the redeveloped hospitality area.

The building presents a completely new configuration of the space for sports commentators, FIA officials and spectators: the distribution has been redesigned to meet the need for stakeholder interactions with the action taking place on the circuit.

A media space is integrated into the building rather than being located in a temporary marquee, in order to provide quality services to journalistic representatives, namely modular lighting, a suitable ventilation system and electrical and telecommunications connection boxes including optical fiber.

This media space is also a rental space made available to Montrealers for events outside the Grand Prix period all year long.

CONTEXT

As part of a renewal agreement for the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix, the city of Montreal had to replace the existing temporary structures with a larger permanent building that would more adequately meet the needs of the event. The new paddock includes garages for the teams, offices for the International Automobile Federation (FIA) and the promoter, a lounge area and seating for 5,000 people and a Multimedia Center for journalists and broadcasters.

The building echoes the innovative structures that marked Quebec's collective imagination when the 1967 World's Fair was held on the site of Île Notre-Dame. The Terre des Hommes logo using the Y to represent men with outstretched hands remains an indelible symbol of this summer that marked the advent of modernity here. The wooden structure proposed for the roof is based geometrically on this memory and reflects our desire to move away from the images and values usually associated with motor racing and more specifically with Formula 1. The advent of new owners at the head of the circuit has made possible the acceptance of this proposal moving away from ostentatious globalized luxury in order to highlight the cultural and geographical specificity of each city of the circuit and adapt it to emerging values.

PERFORMANCE

The building has been designed to provide views of the race track, but also of the entire natural environment that surrounds it from the terraces on the 2nd and 3rd floors. It also sits along the Olympic basin where groups of rowing, canoeing and dragon boats train and compete. The grand Prix is an event that lasts a week but amateur cyclists make extensive use of the 4km track for informal training.

Lounge areas have no exterior walls and no air conditioning, finishes are bare, solar panels provide electricity for lighting and the building tries to make responsible use of public money. The roof structure will distinguish the Canadian edition and give it an identity based on our collective desire to make a better use of one of our most important natural resources, a strong reminiscence of the daring structures of Expo 67 and commitment toward sustainable development. The wood structure will contribute to the sequestration of more than a thousand tons of carbon dioxide and could be dismantled and reused in the future.