Place Des Montréalaises is a strong example of a collective endeavor that merges architecture, landscape design and art – for a sustainable and lasting design. In collaboration with Design Principal, Andrew King, design director Patricia Lussier, and artist Angela Silver, this truly transdisciplinary project offers a multifunctional canvas for all Montrealers.
Located over a sunken expressway that has long separated Old Montreal from its downtown counterpart, the project heals a wound in the cityscape with its inclined plane that reconnects the two. The suspended architectural piece becomes a flowery meadow of twenty-one distinct indigenous plants that will flower sequentially with the changing seasons, each one representing a female Montrealer of great influence. In reunifying two distincts parts of the city, Place des Montréalaises will conscientiously repair the urban fabric, its every thoughtful detail reflecting a unique context and message.
The landscape architecture design pays tribute to the site’s global concept by offering a bouquet to the women of Montreal. As the pink flowering meadow evolves through time – its beauty is enhanced and framed by the green and white monochrome vegetative foreground. The evolving vegetative state is a symbolic nod to the city’s past, present and future. Thoughtfully designed to foster both a sense of biodiversity and urban forestry, the site contributes to the health of the city.
Innovative Approaches & Learnings
New paradigms were embraced in the design process, resulting in an innovative and majorly self-sustaining public space.
- Boundaries were pushed in terms of site monitoring and maintenance through the use of new technologies and strategies for creating urban forests.
- Variations of plant communities were explored, replacing the more traditional monospecific approach to increase biodiversity.
- Discussions around soil, micro-organisms and planting beds were instrumental in preserving the design’s integrity over time.
- A complex matrix-based landscape system created to be as functional as it is aesthetic.
The team was pushed to expand their approaches and learnings for this particular project – the result was meticulously executed living design, one that will not only be self-sustaining but will also propel landscape architecture forward.
The meticulous landscape architecture approach for Place des Montréalaises represents a step in the right direction towards creating more resilient, lasting spaces. The project itself will encourage important conversations within the practice around the multidisciplinary collaboration as well as the creation of urban forests, plant communities, micro-organisms and self-sustaining sites. As we look to the future, we invite others both within and outside of the profession to push the boundaries of design for public spaces within our cities to better serve us, and in turn – the planet.
Click here to read Patricia Lussier’s article on Designing Lasting Places: a collective endeavor – a piece that explores how collaboration, new technologies and approaches can propel landscape architecture forward in order to foster the creation of lasting designs.