The new amphitheatre designed by architect Paul Laurendeau in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, reflects itself in the waters of the St. Lawrence river, creating drama, surprise and contrast, immediately becoming an urban landmark. The building gives shape to a receptive place for performance arts under a sharp 7,200 square metre rectangular roof, 26m tall, that shelters up to 3,500 fixed seats, the remaining 5,200 seats being on the grass. Indoor and outdoor spaces blend and give a new identity to the site, formerly occupied by a paper mill. The name of the city appears in 6m high, cross laminated timber panels, and sits along the coastline in front of the amphitheatre, like a giant sign reminiscent of ship containers moving along the seaway.
In 2011, Paul Laurendeau won the architecture competition and realized the project in a joint venture with Trois-Rivières-based Beauchesne Architecture Design. Construction of the building was completed in July 2015, the amphitheatre hosting an exclusive Cirque du Soleil show for its grand opening. Landscaping and signage were finalised in October 2016. The amphitheatre’s ample views of the St. Maurice and St. Lawrence rivers, the installation quality, the enhancement of the site and public river areas, the quality of the indoor areas in terms of natural lighting, the extreme clarity of its formal composition and the simplicity of its spatial organization, are all found in the built work, whose light elegance and monumentality contribute to the identity of the City of Trois-Rivières. Shows and performances here become significant urban and social happenings.