« Shanghai, August 31, 2010 – The will to develop cities that are at the same time inclusive, creative and sustainable is above all the quest for an ideal, an immense societal project that must be ceaselessly nourished and renewed through the efforts of the greater Canadian community nationwide. It is this large-scale and, at the same time, thoroughly human project that seemed to represent for us the fundamental element of our identity, the centre around which the architectural concept and experience of the pavilion should gravitate.
The pavilion’s architecture layers and weaves together a series of intertwined metaphors at different scales. The first represents the country, and serves as site for the second, that of the city, which in turn encompasses that of the town square.
The architectural parti distinguishes two closely related entities:
The building as a looped ribbon
The interior court as a circumscribed public square
Mimicking the territorial disposition of cities described above, the long, bar (ribbon) of the building supplely coils between the slender ends of the allotted terrain’s perimeter. In this way, it supports the idea of a loop that unifies in spite of distances. It projects the image of a country that embraces that which it holds most dear: its population. The continuous path between entrance and exit suits the program of public performances, creating a platform upon which a series of events may unfold. Their starting point will be in the interior court left free at the centre of the pavilion that encompasses it.
The Interior court, public square or urban room
Center, public square or urban room, it is the place where urban life crystallizes and is renewed.
Symbolized by the physical form it adopts and the characteristics that emanate from it, the court evokes the true nature of city.
Client name: Canada Heritage
Creation producer: Cirque du Soleil
Creation director: Johnny Boivin
Line producer: Carole Samson
Project manager: Pascal Richer
Name of architectural/design firm: Saia Barbarese Topouzanov architectes
Project leader: Mario Saia
Design team members: Vladimir Topouzanov, Sam Yip, Mathias Losco, Patrick Meirim de Barros
Construction drawings: ABCP Architecture – The architectural Design Research University of Tongji University
Main contractor: Lavalin
Other specialist designers/consultants: landscape: NIP paysage
Lighting design: Lightemotion »
(Source: Julie Payette, agence Volume2)
(Crédit photo: Patrick Alleyn)