Recognized on the South Shore of Montreal for the quality of his work, Roger Desmarais was hired to design the Longueuil municipal school in the early 1970s. The brief did not ask for a simple assembly of programmatic units, but to develop an in-depth reflection with the teaching team and the Ministry of Education. Serving as the first example of its new pedagogical concept, the open-space school also became its spatial concept. The building has a circular form, which frees it from visual obstructions and allows the distribution of open spaces around a shared corridor. But what makes the project truly special is hidden behind its façade, where several "open areas" are organized around a central corridor. Instead of walls, movable partitions allow for varying classroom configurations and encourage interaction between students.
Fifty years later, similar questions and reflections arise in the realization of the high schools of Montreal-North and Anjou for the SQI. The work of how to solidify concepts like active pedagogy, community, and sustainability has been enriched by the teams' previous experience with the Trilon school, but also by more recent projects like the Amélio and Herzliah educational facilities.
École du Tournesol (formerly known as Domaine Trilon) - Photos : Alex St-Jean