November 16, 2012 ─ The 2-22 building is billed as the new flagship of the Quartier des spectacles. Originally planned as a way to revitalize a long dilapidated part of town, it underwent a number of twists and turns before it was completed in February 2012. It stands at the corner of Saint-Laurent Boulevard and Sainte-Catherine Street, a mythical corner which has been a keystone of the downtown core since its beginnings. After hosting a footwear factory, a cinema, and a pharmacy, the site of the 2-22 has changed vocation once more.
With its imposing glass façade and pyramid-shaped entryway, not to mention the incredible digital sculpture in the centre of the grand atrium, the building by Québec firm AEdifica+Gilles Huot Architectes is hard to miss. The “sculpture” is in fact the La Vitrine information centre, just one of the multiple cultural organizations in the 2-22. La Vitrine is a unique information service for the public, listing all the cultural activities going on in the city. Created by Montréal firm Moment Factory, this installation has the form of an interactive, multimedia city map and a carefully assembled set of light panels whose messages flow around the information desk.
Besides La Vitrine, numerous cultural organizations have taken up residence in the building’s approximately 5,500 m2 of floorspace. CIBL community radio station has moved its studios into the ground floor. Vox gallery, the ARTEXTE contemporary art research centre, and the Regroupement des centres d’artistes autogérés du Québec occupy the upper storeys. Finally, visitors can enjoy a breathtaking view of the city and the Quartier des spectacles in particular from the bar-terrace on the fifth floor.