The Cogeco Amphitheatre
The Cogeco Amphitheatre is an award winning new outdoor auditorium located in Trois-Rivières Quebec. The project is the result of an open anonymous architectural competition won by Atelier Paul Laurendeau in 2011 to endow the city with a new public infrastructure to host summer shows and festivals. Located on the site of a former paper mill that was dismantled, at the junction of the Saint-Lawrence and Saint-Maurice rivers, the Amphitheatre is to become a landmark, the new signature of Trois-Rivières.
The Amphitheatre comprises a fixed seating area of 3,500 red seats with a sloped lawn greeting 5,500 people, for a total capacity of 9,000. The main feature, an imposing while delicate 80 x 90 meter roof, covers the fixed seating area and stage. The Amphitheatre was inaugurated in July 2015 with an exclusive show by the Cirque du Soleil. Acoustics played an important role in the project. As the amphitheatre is an open air venue, sound emitted from the stage vanishes in air, lacking surfaces to bounce back and creating acoustical conditions. The peripheral surfaces around the stage proscenium—the side walls and the underside of the monumental roof—had to either project the sound outwards to avoid reflections or absorb it to prevent an echo in the crowd. Due to its great volume, namely the roof located 25 meters above the floor, the building surfaces angled towards the spectators had to absorb sound.
The architect worked closely with Octave, an acoustical consultant, to ensure the facility’s sound performance was second to none. The underside of the roof that surrounds the Amphitheatre was constructed with 50% perforated metal. The sound that passes through the perforations is then absorbed by 2 inches (5.08 cm) of acoustic stone wool insulation. This reduces echo and ensures the building does not contribute to sound reflection.