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A bright, modern and private place with a stunning view in a unique spot that's a mere five minutes from downtown Montreal. Facilities specially intended for the Formula 1 racing world, which will provide local and international spectators with an astounding show and an ideal experience for the athletes and their respective teams.
There are two huge terraces set up in a cordial and elegant setting, for corporate clientele, who will be able to enjoy the location for special events, as will motor-racing enthusiasts at the annual Grand Prix du Canada. It provides an international-scale, all-season facility, where there is a mingling of the islands, the river and a heralded recreational-tourist site. All this and more awaits you at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve's new paddocks.
This is in conjunction with the renewal of the Grand Prix du Canada contract, from 2015 to 2029, in which the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau (SPJD) agreed to help with the renovation and expansion of the infrastructures at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.
The objective of the project was to upgrade the equipment in the paddocks, which was built in 1988, and bring it to the standards required by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and the Formula One World Championship (FOWC), while increasing the capacity of the loges above the garages to 5,000 people, compared to 1,800 in the former building.
Now set over three storeys, the building's development was completely revised to meet everyone's needs: the staff of the Formula 1 teams, media, commentators, and, especially, the motor-racing crowd that is eager for endless thrills in a state-of-the-art facility!
Garage for the teams, control tower and administrative offices
Loges, control tower, podium and workspace for the media
Loges and terrace
On the first floor, there are more spacious garages for the sports teams, and in the back there is a completely rethought hospitality section for greater comfort.
The new paddocks can accommodate technical garages and house up to 13 teams, each of which will have two front entrances for the cars, drivers and technical crews, as well as a service entrance in the back of the building for equipment or for quick access to the hospitality area.
Designed without a permanent partition, the garages' area is modular and can be adjusted based on the teams' requirements at every Grand Prix du Canada race: temporary partitions will be used to create the appropriate divisions, thereby addressing the technical needs for this constantly evolving sport.
The building boasts an entirely new configuration of the area reserved for the sports commentators and FIA and FOWC representatives. The divisions were rethought to meet the interactive needs of those involved with the action occurring on the track. Unlike the previous control tower which was built high off the ground to provide a nice view of the track, the new tower is set up horizontally over two stories at building level, since the new race control technologies now require less visibility and more electronics.
A workspace for the media is integrated into the building rather than being set up in a temporary tent to provide media representatives top-notch services, including adjustable lighting, a customized ventilation system and electrical and telecommunication boxes that include fiber optic.
The administrative staff assigned to this major event have not been overlooked. They settle into luminous offices that are more spacious and equipped with the technological connections that are required to ensure the smooth functioning of the race, festivities and accommodating visitors to these respective activities.
The loges have been set up over two storeys for a breathtaking and fascinating experience. Along with your guests, clients, colleagues, friends or family members, you can watch the show unfold in loges that are covered by a roof but open on the sides, affording an uninterrupted view of the track and the Parc's bucolic environment.
With its increased seating capacity of 5,000 (instead of 1,800), its three new rows of grandstands with more comfortable seats, a much-improved space configuration and wide-screen TVs so you don't miss any of the action on the track, it adds up to a truly awesome experience! And the building's roofing extends into the first row of the grandstands, thereby protecting spectators from inclement weather.
Meanwhile, for people who like taking a spot in the popular gallery sections facing the building, four new wide screens will be installed above the garages while the race is on, providing a high-definition television experience.
The building was designed to not only enhance the views of the race track but also of the Parc's surrounding environment, with the setting up of several terraces on the 2nd and 3rd storeys.
Covered terrace without walls on the 2nd storey
Area: 34,615 ft2 (3,217 m2)
Cocktails: 4000-person capacity
Banquets: 2500-person capacity
Adjacent to the multi-functional hall
Covered terrace and seating on the 3rd storey
Area: 54,595 ft2 (5,075 m2)
Cocktails: 5000-person capacity
Banquets: 3000-person capacity
Green-roof open-concept terrace on the 3rd storey
Area: 5,185 ft2 (485 m2)
Cocktails: 800-people capacity
Since the new building is higher off the ground, spectators will be treated to a greater-than-expected panorama. On one side, there is a closer view overlooking Jean-Doré Beach, the Casino de Montréal, the former France Pavilion at Expo 67, and the former Québec Pavilion that is next to it. In the distance, the city of Montreal and its skyscrapers, majestic Mount Royal and its iconic illuminated cross are visible on clear days.
On the other side, at first glance you have a view of the Olympic Basin, where groups of rowing, canoe-kayak and dragon-boat athletes do their training. Behind, there is a narrow passageway of the Saint Lawrence River, where merchant ships travel, and then there is a view of Montreal's South Shore. It's an incomparable 360-degree panorama, in the daytime and the evening, in all four seasons.
About 10 months a year, the building will be available as a corporate rental space. With a phenomenal multi-purpose hall that is adjustable because of its retractable partitions, and three huge terraces, including one with floral and vegetal décor, this will be a highly popular place, just a few steps from downtown Montreal!
There has been a total rethinking in terms of accessibility to the new building: the entire first floor is at ground level and the three storeys are accessible by a panoramic, glass-enclosed elevator located at the East entrance. Places in the grandstands and the washrooms are also set up to ensure universal accessibility and make it easier to get around.
In conceptualizing and designing the plans, it was of utmost importance that the building's architecture was in perfect harmony with the Parc's natural setting, while at the same time highlighting the know-how of local builders.
From the elegance of the structure to the selection of materials, the new paddocks enhance the Parc's unique environment: its insular features, its proximity to the city, the legacy of Expo 67 and, of course, the iconic Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.
The professionals who worked on the project were able to draw on an extensive source of inspiration, and they wisely accentuated features that highlight Québec's engineering genius.
Built on a partly artificial island created for the Expo 67 world's fair, many elements of the new building are reminiscent of the graphical lines of that era.
The ceiling frame, a major aspect of the building's architecture, is a good example, as is the steel structure depicting the elements in the shape of a Y or men with hands extended, which comprises the logo of the Parc and Expo 67.
The building is hybrid in its uses, conventional in its selection of materials, modern in its covering and practically blends into the landscape of the Parc. The renovating of the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve paddocks is, among other things:
An accelerated project completed in a record 10-months time, between two Grand Prix du Canada events;
A caring for the surrounding ecosystem and users of the nearby facilities, including the Olympic Basin, Jean-Doré Beach and cyclists that use the track;
Construction methods that have been thoughtfully selected, including pre-fabricated structures that required little on-site assembly.
The new building has already been recognized by the Canadian Architect magazine by winning Award of Excellence in December 2018.
Hailed for its modern look, its use of eco-responsible materials, including the wood structures, and its seamless integration into the natural setting of the Parc, the project designed by Les Architectes FABG impressed the jury in the award-selection process.
A brand-new elevator lift will be big enough contain a Formula 1 car, but any other vehicle, as well, thereby enabling the multi-purpose building to be used for exhibitions and shows beyond the Grand Prix event.
The objective was to make the best possible elevator lift which, rather than being square-shaped, would have a rectangular shape to allow this multi-purpose aspect.
The wood is used for beams, in the form of glued-laminated and cross-laminated, and for decking, in the form of cross-laminated. A conventionally made product that is lighter than most material, requiring easy assembly and little specialized equipment: actually, it is a turnkey solution.
The precast concrete is from the Québec firm Shockbéton/SARAMAC. An interesting note: SARAMAC also produced the concrete for the previous paddocks that were made in 1988, and the concrete structure for Olympic Stadium!
The structure of the 1,425 m3 roof is made of wood, a durable and sustainable material. Since the wood, during its growth, captures CO2 in the air and sequesters it in its fibre, this volume of wood is the equivalent of sequestering 1,000 tons of CO2. The wood is deemed to be carbon-negative, which means using this wood for building purposes not only produces little carbon emission, it also helps in removing the excess carbon dioxide from the air;
The roof sealing is done with a white covering, a better option than a black covering which absorbs practically all the sun's rays and stores the heat inside the building. The white covering reflects most of the sun's rays, which helps in lowering the building's inside and outside temperature by several degrees;
The photovoltaic solar panels placed in certain areas on the roof are 64 m2 in total and should store enough solar energy in one year to offset the energy costs required for the entire building during a Grand Prix event. The installed system will provide an average of 87,600 kw/hr per year, and the estimated energy consumption during the Formula 1 event is 88,940 kw/hr.
The building has LED lighting, both inside and out: an energy-saving solution;
Follow the progress of the paddocks renovation, from one end to the other of the work area. Psst... You can choose to watch the pictures that were taken as a movie, by clicking on the « time lapse » option at the bottom!
This major project was realized through the $41 million contribution by the City of Montreal and the $18 million in funding by the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l'Habitation (MAMH). The Société du parc Jean-Drapeau has also received support from outstanding partners in the designing, construction and setting up of the project.
In the designing of the building and the servicing required to put on a Formula 1 car race, the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau has also been able to draw on the expertise of specialized partners: