Student: LinSen Chai
Instructors: Erika Brandl-Mouton and Clothilde Caillé-Lévesque
Studio: Arch 303
Year/Term: Fall 2015
Description: Park-Ex is a highly diverse and lively neighbourhood where coexists numerous cultures and traditions. To this is added a vast architectural lingo as various styles and types of construction can be found oddly cohabitating in the same building. After surveying extensively the neighbourhood, emerged slowly the soul of it; a neighbourhood that is proud, proud of its people, and its innovativeness. Out of this urban collage was singled out an architectural element that was afterwards rationalized into a façade system. In this instance, it happened to be the mullions of a simple window which led to the exploration of a grid system befitting the building. The numerous iterations of interventions on this grid lead to a finalized system in which spheres would be carved out of the latter. This logic was consequently adopted as well when it came to creating the spaces within the structure. Thereafter, there was a need to convey the essence of Park-Ex into a building that could encompass its entirety. The centre for the moving image is located in the centre of the urban fabric, and therefore should be an epicentre, a beacon, radiating outwards. Its vocation should irremediably be one of gathering, of communication, and of sharing. A hydra between community centre, movie theatre, and museum, the moving arts should be focussed on this collective experience of the users; a space of shared awe towards the arts and the culture. Hence the moving image should not be only one of the cinematographic experience but also about the dialogues, and the exchanges amongst users. Therefore, this experience becomes un-formalized where people can choose how they wish to partake and where discussion are encouraged. Accordingly, the interior spaces become large open venues that can accommodate these interactions and activities. The stairs encircling the main hall can become bleachers for shows happening on the ground level, or the café/bar area can become a small amphitheatre for plays. This polyvalence of uses can also be translated in terms of moods. The faux-alabaster has excellent light qualities allowing various types of lighting either it be from the projections or backlit. All in all, the centre for the moving image should be a synergetic experience in pulse with the community and its aspirations.