ASGM L082_9Y17E Maison mère, Salle communautaire, Visite du supérieur de StSulpice, 1896.
The southeast wing of the Mother House, completed in the first phase of construction, was designed to sustain its residents until the rest of the building was completed. A refectory and kitchen took up much of the basement, while the upper floors housed employees and the infirm. Most importantly, the ground floor of the wing served as the building’s first church until the Chapel of the Holy Cross was completed in 1878. Thereafter dubbed Community Hall, it became a gathering place for sisters to hold meetings, screen movies, stage theatre performances and receive guests.
“When I entered in 1949, there were about 300 of us in the convent…300 sisters, plus there were the charitable organizations…”
Sister Cécile Castonguay
Concordia’s redesign preserved the hall's multi-functional and community-building elements. It now serves as a welcoming reading area and dynamic multi-media space for the university. The original iron beams still support the wing’s solid limestone construction. But the hall is also flexible enough to accommodate various social events. Furniture is easily moved, and an overhead lighting system colours the room differently according to the activity it hosts.