START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
2,604,926 people care about Environment & Wildlife

Midcentury Church in Quebec is Converted to a Library

Midcentury Church in Quebec is Converted to a Library

Written by Lloyd Alter

When Jean Marie-Roy built the St Denys du Plateau church in Quebec City in 1964, it was a modern wonder. At the time, almost 90% of Quebecois attended church regularly. Now it is barely 8% and churches are being desanctified and converted all over the Province; Arcade Fire turned one into a recording studio. Now Dan Hanganu has turned this one into a library. It is a wonderful demonstration of the adaptive reuse of a mid-century building for more modern uses.

© Stéphane Groleau

Unlike church use, library use is actually increasing across North America as they adapt to computers and other uses. So now it is the The Monique-Corriveau Library, named after a famous Quebec childrens’ author. Dan Hanganu writes:

Converting and expanding such an eloquent example of modern Quebec architectural heritage is a very delicate operation which must be approached with respect and humility.[...] Saint-Denys-du-Plateau Church deserves this special consideration due to its unusual, dynamic volume, which evokes a huge tent inflated by the wind and anchored to the ground with tensioners.

© Stéphane Groleau

Dan Hanganu has a wonderful feel for basic materials; His Montreal museum of archaeology and history at Pointe-à-Callière is one of my favorite buildings in that city, all exposed steel studs and metal. He continues that here;

Building on transparency and reflection, the architects have made a strong statement with colour at the ends of the building, an allusion to the vibrant, bold colours of the 1960s, which contrast the whiteness and brilliance newly captured in the remarkable form of the original church.

More on Designboom, and V2com.

© Merkx + Girod

Churches and books certainly go well together; here are a few others we have shown on TreeHugger:

Related on TreeHugger.com:

This post originally appeared on TreeHugger.

Read more: , , , , ,

Photo Credit: via Flickr user Jacques Trempe

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

45 comments

+ add your own
11:39AM PDT on Sep 1, 2014

I love libraries.Great idea,thanks for sharing

5:23AM PDT on Sep 1, 2014

Jean-Pierre G wrote @Danielle E. I understand your comment, it may apply to Abrahamic religions, but I disagree that it can be applied to Taoism, Buddhism, shintoism or Jainism.

Well I have to heartily agree with Danielle E, and posit that any and all religions can be twisted and repurposed by those of ill will to suit their ends. When we place our faith in the supernatural and stories made up to explain our existence we leave ourselves vulnerable to manipulation and domination. Especially when we internalize the negative messages before accepting the external controls.

Better a library than a sky pixy theme park, anyday of the week..............although I must confess to a weakness for devotional architecture of all denominations.

11:26AM PDT on Aug 29, 2014

ty

12:42PM PDT on Aug 28, 2014

ty

8:42AM PDT on Aug 28, 2014

and I forgot: it's not applicable either to aboriginal spiritualities.

8:38AM PDT on Aug 28, 2014

@Danielle E. I understand your comment, it may apply to Abrahamic religions, but I disagree that it can be applied to Taoism, Buddhism, shintoism or Jainism.

5:27AM PDT on Aug 28, 2014

Thank you.

1:10AM PDT on Aug 28, 2014

Library over a church any day. At least people learn science and facts (apart from other things) in libraries and not crazy stories made by misogynistic men thousands of years ago about rape slaves and marrying off daughters. Libraries offer REAL world advice not forced obedience.

7:57PM PDT on Aug 27, 2014

How surprised was I to see an article about my local library in the Care2 bulletin! wow! It's just a small borough library (Sainte-Foy) of a, at best, medium town (Quebec City) in french Canada (not to say that it's not a nice place to live).

But I feel compel to tell a couple of facts about that story:

1- The church had been vacant for a couple of years, the local muslim community wanted to buy it an convert it into a mosque, but there was a big uproar (many opponents hadn't set in a church for decades, but it was a "symbol")

2- The library design is not all that wonderful, some halls gave no natural light and only fluorescent lighting, not that great.

And for those asking, yes church attendance drop drasticly in the 60' in what was called here 'The Quiet Revolution" and in the years that followed.

6:56PM PDT on Aug 27, 2014

Glad they didn't destroy the building. I do love the libraries.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

What do you expect from a society so obsessed with consumerism??? How many times have you give a…

America's disrespect for education and scholarship is proven by a comparison between the salaries universities…

meet our writers

Julie M. Rodriguez Julie M. Rodriguez is an arts, green living, and political writer based in San Mateo, CA. Her work... more
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK

Children

Civil Rights

Education

Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights

Politics

Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.