The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP), and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) have honoured Lemay with a prestigious National Urban Design Award (NUDA), Civic Design, for its Place Vauquelin redevelopment project.
This symbol of institutional power adjoining Montreal City Hall had not been restored for nearly half a century. The project therefore aimed to restore the public space and enhance its natural and historic appeal while strengthening its role as a connector to downtown, the Champ-de-Mars, City Hall and Old Montreal.
As part of this mandate, carried out in collaboration with the City of Montreal’s Service des grands parcs, du verdissement et du Mont-Royal and the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, Lemay's team engineered a stunning and comprehensive metamorphosis of Place Vauquelin to make it a symbolic and popular destination. To do this, the designers sought to fashion an exceptional user experience by making the site more inviting and universally accessible.
At the heart of the project is the fountain: a major attraction that allows visitors to rest and recharge. Its water jets dance and light up in the colours of the various celebrations held in this friendly space. The sculptural and landscaped zigzag staircase is an innovation in itself, and is now used as a reference by the City for projects requiring universal access. This strong and innovative design element also conceals a system that heats the square and the surface of the access ramp, to ensure user comfort and universal accessibility year-round.
In awarding this honour, the RAIC, CIP and CSLA recognize the exceptional value of Lemay and the City of Montreal’s contribution to Place Vauquelin, one that has made it into a rich and contemporary heritage space for both formal and informal gatherings, as well as a historical reference and ceremonial forecourt for Montreal's City Hall.
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