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Collège Saint-Hilaire
Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Quebec

Located in Mont-Saint-Hilaire in Quebec, the Collège Saint-Hilaire pays tribute to the surrounding nature and the beautiful mountain as its backdrop. In this expansion project, precast concrete was used to make the exterior envelope of the building. The project includes a total of 31 architectural precast concrete panels.

The architectural design is inspired by the natural context where the tree appears as the representative tool of the multiple connections of the project. Like a fruit tree, the college is rooted in a strong past, anchored in human values based on union and sharing.

A series of formliners of different sizes were used to integrate foliage patterns into the 31 architectural precast concrete panels to achieve this stunning appearance. This process used elastomeric membranes, offering an infinite variety of shapes and textures. It allows architects to realize their aesthetic vision in its smallest details.

More specifically, in this project, each leaf was made from Teflon (plastic material) and placed manually in the support that was used to cast the matrix and ultimately gave the appearance of leaves dispersed naturally.

In architecture, white cement is often used because it is brighter than grey cement. Combined with white aggregates (stone/sand), it produces a beautiful and bright finish with a contemporary look, as seen in this project.

For the Collège Saint-Hilaire, the precast concrete producer created a series of mold bottoms with leaf patterns in which a concrete mixture based on white cement was poured. The result is eloquent and harmonizes perfectly with the surrounding environment.

The Collège Saint-Hilaire project demonstrates the flexibility and versatility of precast concrete. Precast concrete gives the architects and designers endless aesthetic possibilities for their inspiration, all while providing a safe and resilient structure.

The new spaces are filled with natural light and create a bridge with the surrounding nature and the beautiful mountain as a backdrop. The project was completed in August 2021 and took approximately one year to build. This addition to Saint-Hilaire College will certainly set the tone for the schools of the future, which revolve around well-being and openness.


Photos by James Brittain

Collège Saint-Hilaire
KANVA Architecture
GBI Services Ingénierie
JBC Entrepreneurs généraux
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