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Design & Development

Roof of Montreal’s Olympic Stadium to be recycled

Featured image credit: CNW Group/Parc Olympique

Parc Olympique, operator of Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, has launched an international competition for designers and architects to suggest ways in which the venue’s roof structure can be reused after it is dismantled.

It was announced in February that the provincial government in Quebec would spend C$870m (£507m/€593m/$632m) to replace the roof of the stadium, with the work to be spread over the next four years.

It is hoped the new roof, which will last for 50 years and will include a transparent glass hoop, will allow Montreal to become a “key event player”.

The current 25-year-old Kevlar roof is said to have accumulated more than 16,000 tears since installation. As a result, events cannot be held in the stadium if the weather forecast calls for more than three centimetres of snow or three millimetres of sleet.

The dismantling of the roof will begin this summer and Parc Olympique has invited design and architecture professionals, as well as students, to put forward “creative and innovative” solutions that can breathe new life into the components of the current structure.

The roof is made up of the iconic supporting cables, its two interior and exterior membranes, and the hardware that supports the structure. The residents of Quebec will be asked to vote for their favourite suggestions among the eight ideas selected by a jury made up of recognised experts.

The initiative forms part of Parc Olympique’s broader approach to sustainable development and the circular economy. The mandatory registration deadline for the competition is May 31, with applicants having until June 11 to submit their ideas.

The winners of the competition will be offered prizes ranging between C$5,000 and C$15,000. The selection criteria will include the ingenuity and relevance of reuse, the contribution to the ecological transition and the social impact in the community.

Montreal’s Olympic Stadium opened in 1976 for the city’s staging of that year’s summer Olympic Games. The roof project was first approved at a budget of C$250m by the Quebec government back in 2017. Progress had stalled until last summer, when Parc Olympique issued a notice of intent to sign a contract with the Groupe Pomerleau-Canam consortium, with a view to delivering a new roof and technical ring for the facility.

The roof replacement project will be divided into three parts: the dismantling of the current roof, the dismantling and replacement of the technical ring, and the construction of the new roof.