Project: Maison de Radio-Canada
CBC/Radio-Canada, Canada’s national public broadcaster, has been relocated to a new creative hub designed to boost creativity and collaboration through bright, open spaces1 - while keeping workers comfortable in all of Montreal’s famously extreme seasons. To achieve this, BLTA incorporated a four-storey and a seven-storey glass façade, with specialist glass from Pilkington United Kingdom Limited, part of the NSG Group, filling the space with natural light.
Until recently, the broadcaster was housed in a concrete building, with some staff working from the basement. The anglophone and francophone journalists barely crossed paths in the building, hindering collaboration between the two teams.
Just a stone’s throw from its previous home, the new Maison de Radio-Canada was built as part of the wider site revitalisation project in Montreal, Quebec. With a footprint of over 6,100 m² across both glass buildings the new creative hub for media and digital production is spread across 7 floors, designed with the studio and production teams in mind. The building boasts a giant atrium, open-plan TV and radio studios, green spaces, and rooftop terrace.
Whatever the weather
Montreal’s distinct seasons mean that residents can expect hot, humid summers and freezing, snowy winters, which brought about difficulties in the design process. Glass designer and manufacturer Prelco was tasked with sourcing an innovative glass solution to meet the strictest environmental performance standards, while prioritising appearance and light.
Solar control glass from the Pilkington Suncool™ range provided a solution. The range is designed to create a comfortable environment year-round. In Montreal’s warm summers, Pilkington Suncool™ will help prevent overheating by reflecting the sun’s heat, but when the city’s bitter winters arrive, the thermal insulation properties of the specialist glass help to keep heat in, with a Ug-value of 1.0 W/m²K.
The glass will also help reduce air conditioning and heating use, improving the building’s environmental performance. These considerations were essential in enabling the broadcasting hub to achieve LEED Silver equivalence; one of the world’s most widely recognised architectural standards in sustainable building design.
A modern space for creators
Pilkington UK supplied 7,897 m² Pilkington Suncool™ 66/33 for the project, a solar control glass with low-emissivity properties, to keep internal reflection low and allow for a clear external view.
These units are connected by 465 m² of Pilkington Suncool™ 66/33 coated spandrel units to create the glass façade’s uniform, smooth appearance. They feature a special toughened metallic coating, hiding any internal structures to create the consistent, finished look.
Sylvain Maillet, Architectural Technical Consulting Director, Prelco, said: “Pilkington Suncool™ helps to deliver on sustainability by reducing the need for heating and cooling, which was a priority for this project, where the greatest care has been taken to incorporate eco-friendly water and energy management systems.”
“Pilkington Suncool™ has fast become a popular high-performance solar control glass, and we were the first to specify the range here in North America. It has a wide variety of solar control and light transmittance options available, combined with superb aesthetics. When working with architects, Pilkington Suncool™ is an integral part of what we bring to the table.”
Jason Eggerton, Commercial Specifications Manager, Pilkington UK, said: “We’re proud to work with Prelco to deliver high quality, high performance glass to Montreal. Projects like the striking Maison de Radio-Canada, now recognisable by Montrealers for its transparent modern glass façade, creating a thriving versatile workspace rather than its sombre concrete predecessor. It demonstrates what a difference Pilkington Suncool™ solar control glass can make when combined with forward-thinking, sustainable design.
“For this kind of project natural light to all floors was so important, where the building utilised the specification of high-performance materials to enhance the working lives of its colleagues. Pilkington Suncool™ allows architects to reduce heating and cooling costs, which continue to meet critical environmental standards for years to come.”
The new Maison de Radio-Canada is the headquarters for the French-language network of Canada’s national public broadcaster, CBC/Radio-Canada. Through its mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, it plays a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. As Canada’s trusted news source, it offers a uniquely Canadian perspective on news, current affairs, and world affairs. CBC/Radio Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages.