Sciences Complex at the MIL Campus of the Université de Montréal

The Sciences Complex of the Université de Montréal’s new MIL Campus is a 60,000 m² composite that will host approximately 200 professors, researchers, and 2,000 students from the departments of chemistry, physics, geography and biological sciences.

Photo credit: Stéphane Groleau

Photo credit: Stéphane Groleau

“We are very proud to have worked to build this true societal project, said Anik Shooner, project manager and lead architect. “While supporting the University’s strong identity as a nationally and internationally renowned institution, the spaces of the new complex foster the creation of productive networks within the university community as well as with neighbouring residents.”

The Complex consists of two hubs (the science hub and the teaching hub), articulated on either side of a north-south axis crossing through the “the blue line”, a common thread connecting neighbourhoods on each side of the railway tracks, green spaces, public places and university buildings.

The site’s spatial composition is conceived as branches, spreading throughout and crossing public spaces at different levels.

“A project of this scale requires a bold architectural response to create a place of synergy that supports scientific innovation,” says Pierre Larouche, Partner in charge. “It provides researchers and students with an environment conducive to the work and research that will address many global issues.”

A central element of the project is the library, which unites the two hubs and reveals multiple levels linking the ground floor to the basement. Located below the blue line, it extends along two large landscaped courtyards that offer views of the complex’s buildings and other components.

The agora next to it is a major intersection and meeting place for students, teachers and researchers to gather and exchange ideas.

The proposed architectural design transforms the site to augment its vibrancy driven by knowledge and research. For this new urban campus the architects introduced elements of the mountain, a place intimately related to the University’s brand image and history, to link the main campus on the north side of Mount Royal.

“By integrating the latest technologies, both in the laboratories and in the teaching spaces, our achievement positions the University of Montreal as a leading institution,” says Alan Orton, architect and laboratory specialist.

Through the project’s architectural design and perspectives, nature invites itself inside, both concretely via the agora gardens (planted with species native to Mount Royal) and its relief shaped by buildings and pedestrian connections.

A graphic silkscreen printing process, reminiscent of the marshalling yard’s railway tracks, is integrated into the glass of the building envelope.

Combined with the lines of the silkscreen printing, the glass improves thermal comfort and promotes a strong visual identity for this new Université de Montréal landmark.

Located on the site of the former Outremont marshalling yard, at the junction of four boroughs and a city (Outremont, the Plateau-Mont-Royal, Rosemont Petite-Patrie, Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension and Town of Mount Royal), this project aims for LEED NC OR certification.


Project Management Firm: Decasult Inc. Project Executive DirectorAlain Boilard, P.Eng | Architecture: Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux I Lemay I NFOE Architects | Partner in charge: Pierre Larouche | Project Manager and Lead Architect: Anik Shooner | Lead Architectural Designer: Jean-Pierre LeTourneux | Laboratory Specialist Architect: Alan Orton | Assistant Project Manager: Catherine Bélanger | Assistant Architectural designers: Pierre E. Leclerc and Claudio Nunez | Structural and Civil Engineering: SDK et associés | Mechanical and Electrical | Engineering: Bouthillette Parizeau | Pageau Morel | SNC-Lavalin Consortium | Landscape Architecture: Projet Paysage | Contractor: EBC|

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