Passing through Boulevard de la Gare, the Pole catches my eye. My journey ends where I begin another, at the foot of the site. I am called to let myself be carried away by the place … I cross the public square then the library, taking what I need, from what the community has sown, with the possibility of sowing in my turn. I AM the municipal pole BECAUSE WE ARE , open and regenerative.
This projectmandated by the municipality of Vaudreuil-Dorion is a realization in partnership with White architecture but also the engineers Ambioner and Cosigma.
This project evokes the multiplicity of routes and the diversity of individuals who cross the pole and soak up the places. The pole is a daily place with multiple connections, where we cross paths before taking different paths. Everyone leaves their personal imprint. A flagship location in Vaudreuil-Dorion, the municipal hub becomes the imprint of a journey of culture and the transmission of knowledge.
Located in the heart of the city and benefiting from its inter-modality, the location of the pole is strong and strategic. It bridges the gap between the commercial and residential sectors. It completes the circuit of the green network, parks and green spaces, and is part of the route of urban works of art. It thus contributes to improving the quality of urban and landscaping.
The prevailing winds and sunshine are major influencing factors on urban development around the Pole. The rapid growth of the local population of more than 45% within 12 years will have a concrete impact on the number of visitors to the site.
Proximity to the motorway and the flow of cars are important and account for at least 83% of workers who travel by car. Vaudreuil-Dorion is experiencing increasing urbanization and demography, with an increasingly diverse population. We have treated these factors as assets rather than problems.
The location and the strong and distinctive volumetry of the municipal pole building confirm its structuring role in the station sector. This unique building is distinguished by the formal relationship it maintains with the components at the perimeter of the site. The views towards the pole reveal a particular experience and varied and quality atmospheres. On rue Émile-Bouchard, the center forms a large, versatile showcase depending on the activities and public events that will take place there. The view from Elmer Lach Street offers a call to nature modulated by architecture and play space. The buffer zone between the EXO site and the hub is one of comfort and contemplation. Seen from the train, the pole creates an attractive interface punctuated by the ballet of its facades.
In aerial view, the building evokes the crossing of the branches of a multiple traffic sign. The possible north-eastern extension of the building is already planned and will be able to meet the needs of 25% future expansion in administrative space. The branches are oriented around a spectacular central atrium. The interior and exterior space will promote meetings between users.
Access to the site is distributed to meet the various transport needs and is adapted according to the movements of the intermodal zone. To optimize the management of different modes of transport, the project connects the EXO parking lot with the parking lot of the new building. This concentration of parking lots promotes better management of automobiles and increased safety for pedestrians. Employees will be able to park in the basement inside the building. An alternative driveway at the corner of Émile-Bouchard is also presented.
The pole will generate, through its energy production, a positive  footprint on the human environment and nature. It will be a library for bibliophiles with a market garden town hall!
A true island of freshness, the cluster will also play a leadership role in sustainable development. The Living Building Challenge (LBC) certification serves as a basis for reflection and a tool for inspiration. It is currently the only certification that meets the challenges of the 2030 Challenge. The strength of our proposal lies in an innovative global approach, which achieves LEED certification and NET ZERO energy consumption. Our approach to architecture and urban planning adheres to the Ubuntu  philosophy, which in the Bantu language means “I am because we are”, one of the most powerful messages of humanity. This is why we conducted interviews with current users on the site as part of our approach to social sustainability.
The pole has a single “building-landscape” which embodies the coexistence between nature and the built environment. From inside the atrium, we feel the nature that surrounds us, and the plants become allies of our well-being. Outside the building, the “green slope” located to the south, promotes lively and fun encounters for all, all year round. It acts both as a cultural scene and as a safe winter slide for children. The realization of such a “green slope” building project by WHITE in Piteå, Sweden has become one of the main attractions of the city.
On the site, the landscaping will require little maintenance, mimicking the nourishing forest, especially with the presence of fruit shrubs and nitrogen-fixing plants. This will increase the health of plants and sacrificial plants for pest management. Vegetated areas open to the public will be resilient to disturbances. A garden for the exclusive use of employees will stimulate the five senses and promote their well-being at work.
The building has two floors: on the ground floor we find the municipal library and upstairs the administrative offices and the town hall. The functions are clearly grouped and their location takes into account the degree of interface with the citizens. In the center of the building is a large landscaped atrium. In the basement, parking lots are provided for employees.
On the roof, a pavilion provides access to the public gardens and promenade.
Central, open and bright, the public atrium is imbued with lively movements, activities and participatory events: this is the heart of the project. This atrium connects the two main entrances and connects the two floor levels by a large staircase with stepped podiums. On a daily basis, animation is made up of formal and fortuitous meetings and exchanges, of meeting and bringing together people. Common areas such as the café, the multifunctional space and the “fablab” are arranged around the atrium on the ground floor. The spaces optimize accessibility, readability, user-friendliness, fluidity and comfort for visitors, users and employees.
At the Town Hall, located upstairs, you will quickly find the citizen service counters. Dedicated employee areas are located at the ends of the building. Particular attention is paid to the design of calm and inspiring spaces to work and relax in contact with nature and natural light. The departments are territorialized and interrelated according to their administrative affinities. The place will promote quiet work and s generous personal spaces.
The library, located on the ground floor, is easily accessible. The sections for children, adolescents and adults and the spaces for socialization are clearly defined. The place will be conducive to learning and culture with its different levels of noise control. Since access to nature is an imperative that has a role in the overall health of people, an outdoor courtyard for the exclusive use of readers is offered.
In addition to innovating through its energy production, the building makes optimal use of the space on its roof (the 5th facade), by promoting community food production initiatives. The roof is designed as a regenerative space and an evolving productive surface dedicated to gardening. You can grow berries, vegetables and fresh herbs there. This vegetation will reduce the costs of heating and air conditioning. The building will be ready to receive photovoltaic panels. Energy production could represent 5% of consumption from the end of its construction. This production may increase in the years to come.
This vast roof garden will make it possible to develop projects focused on learning and training, in conjunction with the library, town hall and schools in the area. To produce with few energy inputs and materials, the gardens will be landscaped and cultivated based on the principles of permaculture. The strategic combination of edible perennial and annual plants enhances the landscape of the course and the combination of functions allows the borders to be ornamental while serving as a nesting place for wildlife. This system managed with the community meets the basic needs of the city such as food, health, justice and neighborhood life. This system does not require chemical fertilizers and helps to reduce the distance between collection, cultivation and distribution and will participate in the reduction of GHG  produced by the ‘human activity.
To the southwest of the building, the green slope is an integrated stair / slope solution with green spaces. The landings allow the slope to be a useful support in summer. At the same time, the gradients of the steps avoid the risk of erosion of the vegetation.
In winter, the green slope will become a slide for young children in the neighborhood . An important aspect of safety on a toboggan slope is that you can freely choose the starting height. The outer edges of the slope are protected against the risk of falling by integrating the building’s raised guardrail. A safe arrival zone will be delimited, using conventional methods similar to those carried out in comparable situations in municipal parks. At the foot of the slope, a stop embankment will be constructed and the area can be demarcated with raised snow banks and safety nets. Neighbors and other residents will thus be able to benefit from new equipment at low cost and take ownership of the municipal hub.
The building is structured in three layers inspired by the forest: on the ground floor a transparent and accessible base, on the second floor a canopy shaded by vertical rods and on the roof a plant crown. The facades are covered with a facing of polychrome terracotta strips placed vertically. Recognized for its durability, terracotta is a visually “warm” natural material that we have chosen for its beauty and low impact on the climate. The colorful slats look like tree branches and books on the library shelves. Variable spacing of the rods will control the sun protection and modulate the light inside the building. The concept of the building is inspired by the assets of Vaudreuil-Dorion: the colors of the slats recall the urban artwork “Nourishing your dreams II” and reinforces a strong symbolic identity at the pole.
Inside, the judicious choice of wood and concrete as structural materials accentuates the dialogue between the building and the natural environment. The presence of acoustic comfort measures inside will make the places suitable for working and reading.
In view of the climate and the immediate environment, and in order to reduce energy needs and ensure occupant comfort, the CaGBC Zero Carbon standard  has been our guideline.
This will eliminate GHG emissions. Building on operational simplicity, the building’s heating and cooling will use low-temperature water networks for heating and cooled water, fed by a central closed-loop geothermal heat pump. A high energy performance fresh air supply system with heat recovery and dehumidification is also planned. Climatic beams will ensure the comfort of the occupants. Indoor air quality will be a top priority.
Two rectangular structural frames meet in the center of the building. The building rests on conventional foundations with piles, the use of which is dictated by the conditions of the clay soil. The floors are concrete. The roof and the structure that supports it are engineered wood. With the exception of a few bracing walls, there will be no load-bearing walls to allow for any spatial reorganization in the future. This building is “Future-Proof” .
By virtue of its vocation and role, the flagship project of the municipal center of Vaudreuil-Dorion marks a long journey started by the City and its community. The new municipal hub will have a low ecological footprint and will be equipped to make the transition to regeneration. Our interdisciplinary expertise combines aesthetics, technique and society, and our know-how, based on the Living building challenge and Living Community Challenge programs, will allow the Vaudreuil-Dorion municipal pole to achieve the highest level of performance to create a healthy and sustainable living environment. I am because we are.
 See our proposition in question PDF
 The Living Building Challenge measures the positive impact that a product causes throughout its life cycle, such as generating more energy than that required to produce the product. See Handprint in https://living-future.org/lpc/basics/
 Ubuntu: humanist concept originating in southern Africa which could be translated as “I am what I am thanks to what we all are” (Wikipedia).
 Greenhouse gases
 Canada Green Building Council
Competition, Urban design