Categorie du projet: Community

Les Studios du PAS

Nineteen affordable, high-performance housing units are built in Montreal’s East End for seniors who have experienced homelessness 

The complex challenge of this commission was to quickly build affordable housing without compromising its integration into the neighborhood nor its performance. Funding from the Government of Canada and the City of Montreal was granted in March 2021, through CMHC’s ICRL program. To meet the 18-month design-to-delivery deadline, the architects relied on standardization and prefabrication. Early in the process, close collaboration with the engineers and the builder aims to achieve quality housing, while respecting time and budget constraints. 

The two-storey layout fills a gap in the urban fabric of eastern Notre-Dame Street. The units are arranged on either side of a central circulation, forming a compact volume with a regular rhythm. With a surface area of less than 30m², the units are compact, but fitted out with plenty of storage and generous glazing that gives an impression of grandeur. The units’ loggias provide respite, privacy and fresh air for tenants. Flooded with natural light, the double-height lobby provides a friendly and inclusive welcome. The adjoining common room and its office allow the staff to ensure regular follow-up with the tenants. Outside, multiple vegetated rest areas reduce the heat island effect and multiply exchanges between users. Thanks to the organic garden, the happy residents have the chance to practice a productive and therapeutic activity. The colorful, high-performance, inclusive, vegetated architectural project, open to the neighborhood, encourages interaction and support for a vulnerable clientele. A winning formula to be replicated for sure!

Aux Souches

A winter station « heats the outdoor » in the midst of the pandemic in Lachine

Comment dire les choses autrement :
on s’est remplis
de couleurs
qui existent juste
quand on ferme les yeux
– Marie-Andrée Gill, Chauffer le dehors

The setup consists of nine rotating light stumps that invite passers-by to pause for a break. Together with twelve small tree trunks, it creates a pleasant impression of urban woodland. The place is inviting, reassuring and luminous. The setting invites walkers to take a new look at a familiar place.

A dichroic film integrated into the transparent seat of the stumps produces an astonishing light effect. During the day, the reflection of natural light is colored in cold tones. At night, the same film refracts the lighting of the recessed luminaires in amber tones. Both day and night, the movement of the seat and of the passer-by varies the colors, soothing the visitor with soft poetry. 

Luminous pixels projected in the trees of the park create a vertical appeal that evokes starlit skies. As the Quebec poet Marie-Andrée Gill writes, one feels like closing the eyes and seeing things in a different way…

Petite-Saxby, l’école-éponge

Petite-Saxby, the sponge-school

Design submission for the Shefford Lab-School architecture competition.
Like a sponge in the water, Petite-Saxby School forms a whole with its environment. Permeable to the landscape as well as to its community, it nourishes the ecosystem of which it is a part. Its spatiality designed for the children celebrates the singularity of its occupants. At Saxby Corner, the new school is delighted to bring its community together. Welcome to Little Saxby, the sponge-school !

At the very base of the mountain
mixing spirit and space —
a school devours the season’s landscape !

Meetings, canopy and light
wonder, mystery and glade —
a school proudly offers its land to you !

Great walk of learning
points of view, a nature that speaks —
A school that belongs to you, a school that teaches you !

Little heart, vast laboratory
Body and soul live together in community –
Welcome to your school ! Petite-Saxby whispers to you !

Consult the presentation boards

Jardins sous le comble

Finalist proposal for the architecture competition “Est-Nord-Est, residencies for artists” in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli.

By reducing its expression to the essential, the architecture of the East-North-East artist’s center focuses on what makes its specific identity: the creativity of the artists who inhabit it and the splendor of nature that surrounded. The articulation of activities around a contemplative crossroads opening onto a garden courtyard encourages exchanges and stimulates creativity. The setback from the street and the use of a vernacular language with raw materials anchors the work in its context and comes up with a strong and resolutely Nordic identity. With its pragmatic and poetic organization, the new East-North-East Center offers a fertile ground for meditation, exchange and exploration for artists of today and tomorrow.


Poetry and food bring passersby together at Place de la Gare-Jean-Talon.

In collaboration with artists from La Cenne, the architects designed an installation that would bring people together for a meal or an impromptu concert. Cutting across the centreline of the old train station in the heart of the square, between lawn and pavement, the structure links two worlds. On one side is the lawn, with a podium forming an acoustic stage for intimate shows. Bordered by the station on the other side, a large public kitchen offers self-serve BBQs. In between, three long banquet tables feature a selection of poems by Montréal writers. An openwork canvas awning stretches across the top, held up by a series of black steel arches. Last stop! You have arrived at Park Extension station!

Grand Rue

Finalist proposal for the design competition «Sainte-Cath Works – To minimize the impact of the public works on Sainte-Catherine Street West».


For Sainte-Catherine Street’s reconstruction, GRAND RUE proposes a spatial and narrative strategy based on four fundamental principles.



The first issue is related to the nuisance caused by such a huge construction project. During execution of this type work, the construction site fence becomes the most important interface. The boundary between the construction site and the public space offers an ideal support to explain the history of the street, the changes that will come and to facilitate the general orientation through the site.



The second challenge of this major project concerns the value and perception of transforming such an important commercial street. Grand Rue presents the construction project as a positive act. In addition to clearly identifying the areas under construction and communicating the sequence of work, its installations presents the complexity of the intervention. From a graphical perspective, a clear and simple identity brings a visual coherence. Its basic element is a sequence of volume edges that combine to create an abstract pattern suggesting architectural fragments at various scales. Traced white on a vibrating orange background, this motif is part of road signage. The resulting simple graphical system allows permutations that brings an ever changing overall composition. As for the scenographic experience, it starts at the three main entrances of the site with a scaled model that indicates in real time the position of access to the site, the areas where the work is active and those where it is completed. Further on, a life-size pilot section gives a real glimpse of the future street.



The most important constraint of this installation is the flexibility of configuration required for the workflow. To help solve this challenge, the installation consists of a family of modular and freestanding scenographic elements. Most often, these are made of common construction products (concrete barriers, construction fences, scaffoldings, platforms and mats) which facilitates their transport and installation with known methods and tools. The system is complemented by custom-made elements offering exquisite design pieces (ballast mats, corner rails, benches, footbridges, canvases and printed flags). The various scaled drawings planes suggest different examples of configurations allowed by this flexible system.



The diversity and multiplicity of people involved to varying degrees into this structuring project calls for openness, kindness and personal involvement. The transformation of Square Phillips into a special construction office embodies this desire. On the workers’ side, construction trailers trussed on a light steel frame protect the statue of Edward VII. The trailers are dressed with a printed membrane printed with the pattern used for the site fences.


GRAND RUE talks about the new grandeur of Sainte-Catherine Street. We would like to help you walk through this historical moment with happiness and enthusiasm.


For more information: consult the presentation sheets and read the full text .

L. McComber – 10 ans d’architecture vivante

Cathon, Saturnome and Raphaël Thibodeau celebrate the firm’s tenth anniversary with comics and a video!

Laurent McComber explains his vision of architecture: the importance of relationships built around the project, the use of technology and the importance of craftspeople in the creative process. Surrounded by his team David Grenier, Olivier Lord, Philip Staszewski and Pascale Barrette-Brisson, he presents Cathon & Saturnome’s comic-biography. He celebrates with a double IPA special anniversary edition called Hutchison. Juliette Dumont (artist), Paul Duchaine (craftsman welder), Alain Pocquat (cabinetmaker), Guillaume Vaillant (baker) and Danielle Brassard (doctor) explain what the work of the architect brings to their daily lives and their practices.

Scenario, sound recording, camera and editing by Raphaël Thibodeau. Original music by Mathieu Beaudet & Raphael Thibodeau.

Maison de la nature

Architectural competition for La Maison de la nature et de l’environnement on Saint-Pierre & Miquelon islands, a French territory off Newfoundland’s coast.

Built in collaboration with the Parisian firm Encore Heureux, the building acts as a response to the island’s environmental constraints and rural context. Its simple and emblematic geometry makes it modest and welcoming. The project is developing into a three-level promenade that gravitates around the exhibition space. The house’s gables open onto a lavish view of the public square to the north and, to the south, onto a closed, educational garden whose walls protect the vegetation from spray drifts. The promenade culminates on the summit of the building in the form of a covered lookout that offers to visitors a view of the horizon, the port, as well as nature and its environment.

Ô clôture! – Exhibition

Invitation from the Maison de l’Architecture du Québec to reinvent the alleyway. Exhibit.

Oh Fence!
Open your garden
Reveal your terrain
See the alley’s beauty

Oh Fence!
Call yourself buttress
Bench of grass
Staircase or tutor
To each bursting flower.

Oh Fence!
Tend your grounds
Galvanize them
Share their paths
And fence, be!

La cenne

An old Villeray lace warehouse becomes an artist-run center.

This 7,000 square foot space is divided into three distinct volumes: offices on the street side, practice room on the courtyard side, and services in the middle. The walls of the central piece are made of a series of black panels, remnants from the old Quat’sous Theatre. Massive cased hemp walls surround the practice room, thus giving it exceptional acoustics. The original birch floor is oiled in order to reveal the wear of this building from the industrial age.