A Magnetic Center for Lac-Mégantic

Illustration of mobiles on the lake, from a photograph by Arthur Létourneau-Vachon

Urban project on the downtown of Lac-Mégantic and Centre magnétique, a place for co-working, craftsman’s workshop and knowledge exchange aimed at the resilience of the city.

Lac-Mégantic (QC), Quartier Fatima

3,000,000 CA$ for the Magnetic Center building.

June 2017 Proposal

On the night of 6 July 2013, Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, was the scene of a railway disaster that resulted in a violent explosion, the destruction of its downtown and the death of 47 people. This Graduation Project plans a transitional city to respond to the post-disaster situation in Lac-Mégantic. The railway line, converted into a greenway, becomes the backbone of the city. Zones identified as “key” areas allow to link and structure this city in full mutation. These activated spaces are interconnected by ramifications (material or not).

One of the activated areas is the Billots-select wood mill, which the municipality initially wanted to destroy following the new post-disaster axes. Called the Magnetic Centre, it acts as an exoskeleton on the Fatima district and generates plugs that meet the needs of the inhabitants. These plugs can then contaminate the rest of the city in a chain reaction.

The Magnetic Center is both a toolbox and a laboratory of the urban, allowing the population to shape their city according to their wishes.

A territory affected by the disaster

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Photographs by the City of Lac-Mégantic, (from left to right) June 2013, July 2014, October 2015
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Photograph of JapanTimes, July 7, 2013

Analysis : a changing city

Lac-Mégantic photo
Photograph by Lorence Toutant, September 8, 2016

Urban project : a city of transition

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Urban project plan

Architectural proposal : requalify the old sawmill

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Perspective from the forecourt of the Magnetic Centre
1. An existing exoskeleton to invest
2. Mobile plugs, outdoor or indoor
3. Removable front panel, adaptable summer/winter
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