Le Diamant Now 70% Completed
— March 6
Le Diamant General Manager and Programmer, Bernard Gilbert, and director and project initiator, Robert Lepage, presented a report on the progress of Le Diamant’s construction. A guided tour through the site followed, led by Bernard Gilbert and architect Alain Tousignant, a representative of the consortium Coarchitecture/In Situ/Jacques Plante architectes. Four months ahead of the completion date and as planned in the final project schedule, more than 70% of the future Diamant has now been completed.
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- The Atrium of Le Diamant under construction - Photo Credit : Elias Djemil-Matassov
Major Construction Progress
A symbolic fixture of construction sites, a tower crane was set up on Saint-Jean Street in June 2017 and taken down 19 months later, in December 2018. During this important stage of construction, the interior structure was completed (with more than 6500 m3 of concrete poured) as well as most of the silk-screened glass facade overlooking Des Glacis Street. The next stages of the project involve completing the interior and electromechanical elements (the ventilation ducts, plumbing, drainage system, fire-protection system, etc.) for the approximately 8100-square-metre building. In the spring, the exterior siding will be completed.
We are now in the last stretch before the completion of Le Diamant, a new cultural space that will spring to life in Place D’Youville. The performance space, studio, lobby, scenic department, and restaurant are all taking shape. The team is also coming together. Everyone is working hard within a firm budgetary framework to be able to welcome thousands of audience members this fall for fantastic programming.
- Le Diamant under construction seen from above
A Meticulously Planned Project
While the structural work necessitated 50 workers a day, going forward, 100 workers a day will be called upon to complete the interior of the future performance complex of Place D’Youville. Pomerleau, which is handing the general contracting and construction management, oversees approximately twenty subcontractors working in shifts every day to complete Le Diamant, bringing together a multitude of tradespeople to work together: a superintendent; foremen; carpenters; labourers; bricklayers; painters; plumbers; electricians; specialists in elevators, insulation and heating; a prevention officer; and more.
The roof alone is being handled by several subcontractors, due to its membrane and metal portions as well as the patrimonial section above the former YMCA and studio walls. These various elements are made of tin-plated copper, Quebec-style sheet metal, and slate.
The construction team is busy finishing the basic infrastructure of Le Diamant’s restaurant, which will be on the ground level. Its promoter, the Capitole, will take possession of it soon to complete it based on a concept to be announced at a later date.
- Visitor on the construction site - Photo Credit : Elias Djemil-Matassov
The Performance Space Takes Shape
Starting in mid-February, performance-arts experts embarked on the project. A subcontractor specialized in scenography is responsible for rigging the immense fly system used for concealing scenic elements in the fly loft above the stage area. The stage floor have anchor points for the type of rigging used in circus arts. Another team is currently working on a stage lift that will be able to conceal or reveal an orchestra pit for approximately forty musicians. Lastly, a third subcontractor, also specialized in scenography, is working on the cabling for the space’s sound and communication system. Late spring will bring the installation of the approximately 650 seats custom made for Le Diamant.
- Broadcast room under construction - Photo Credit : Elias Djemil-Matassov
History Brought to Life
Le Diamant, through its architecture and concept, pays homage to the history of this particular place—a past discovered by the team, at times, by chance. After the demolition of the YMCA’s interior at the end of 2016, workers discovered two cast-iron columns dating back to the building’s construction in 1879. These elements were preserved so that they could be reintegrated into the lobby of Le Diamant. This enormous, mostly glass-walled second-floor lobby will also incorporate the former space’s original wood wall structures. Retrieved with exceptional care and regarded as scenic elements of great worth, these wood structures were restored and reassembled piece by piece in the Caserne studio space by a team of scenographers before being recently installed in the lobby. These pieces are a strong, symbolic and moving patrimonial element that visitors will be able to discover at Le Diamant’s opening.
An Opening Planned for Late Summer 2019
Providing there are no unforeseen project delays, the inaugural activities of Le Diamant are planned for Labour Day weekend. This much-anticipated special occasion will be confirmed during the spring.