Camp-de-Touage Service Center – Pointe-Taillon National Park

Developed by Blouin Tardif Architectes in consortium with Éric Painchaud architecte, the restoration of Quebec’s Camp-de-Touage Service Center ensures sustainability to connect  people to nature.

The Tow Camp dates back to the time when the mouth of the Saguenay River, formed by the islands of Lac Saint Jean, was used as a towing station for logs being redirected to the small wood lump.

Photo credit: Stéphane Groleau, photography

The concepts of the protective screen, footbridge, observation point, light filter, and expression of the structure are all avenues of development that have led to a sober and coherent architectural party that meets the technical and functional considerations of the reception pavilion for the benefit of its users’ experiences.

Photo credit: Stéphane Groleau, photography

The Three-Stage Architectural Approach

  • The fragmentation of the program allows for the creation of a central reception area for all users of the Park. The pavilions frame a reception area, while filtering access from the various entry points; parking, bicycle path, and pedestrian path. This pavilion strategy also favors adaptation to the topography of the site and the preservation of a vegetal cover near the buildings.
  • The use of the exterior space for the project’s circulation system provides a true outdoor experience. Guided by a footbridge, a must at the beginning of the experience, the visitor’s path winds through the different accessible spaces. The reception, the boutique, the equipment rental area, the veranda, and the service areas for campers are accessible from the wooden bridge. An elevated walkway ultimately becomes a staircase for a more direct link to the camper area below. In addition to being economical for a project where public budgets are limited, this strategy of externalizing circulation stimulates the user’s discovery of the environment.
  • On one hand, the articulation of a roof with large overhangs expresses a hierarchy between the different functions, while on the other hand ensuring perenniality and the development of wood protected from bad weather. This enveloping canopy forms protected buffer zones for gatherings and relaxation, while also generating visual links of interest via openings framing the landscape. Designed for 3-season use, the assemblies, fenestration, and roof projections are calibrated and integrate passive ventilation and heating principles. 
Photo credit: Stéphane Groleau, photography

The Camp de Touage Service Center combines a coherent and poetic architectural resolution with its natural environment. In direct relation to the mission of promoting the resort and the general public vocation of the SÉPAQ, it evokes territorial and historical references related to the log drive and forestry, integrates the route of the Vélo route des Bleuets, and favors the discovery of the site in an enveloping wooden case by all visitors to the region. 

Technical sheet

Project name

Camp-de-Touage Service Center, Pointe-Taillon National Park

Location

40 Chemin du Golf, Saint-Gédéon, QC, G0W 2P0

Start date   

May 21, 2021

Name of the client  

Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (SÉPAQ)

Project manager

Isabelle Beauchamp, architect | Blouin Tardif Architectes 

Sonia Simard, associate architect | Éric Painchaud architecte et associés 

Architect name 

Blouin Tardif Architectes | Éric Painchaud architecte in consortium

List of people who participated in the project

Isabelle Beauchamp, architect | Blouin Tardif Architectes 

Sonia Simard, associate architect | Éric Painchaud architecte et associés 

Magalie Meunier, architect | Blouin Tardif Architectes

Camille Lavoie, architectural technologist | Éric Painchaud architecte et associés

Véronique Rivest architectural technologit and intern | Blouin Tardif Architectes

Joanie Lapointe, architectural intern | Éric Painchaud architecte et associés

List of professionals and consultants who worked on the project

Construction J & R Savard Ltée | General conctrator

WSP Chicoutimi | Engineering

Ext Conseil inc. | Landscape architecture

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