A living, interactive and multisensory nature experience

A living, interactive and multisensory nature experience

Our project was one of the five finalists in the multidisciplinary landscape architecture competition for the design of a sustainable and multifunctional public space on lot 066. This vacant site is located near the Place des Festivals in downtown Montreal.

In designing this project, the multidisciplinary team chose to imagine the public square as a changing spectacle over the seasons. In this perspective, the urban space is an interactive and multisensory experience that is discovered through forms, rhythms, sounds, textures, and the play of light and shadow.

Baptized as Hypernature 066, the project amplifies senses and movements and places the user and nature at the heart of a living stage. Lemay’s proposal is both nature and culture, immersion and projection. This duality is expressed in all the components of the project. The public square, the urban park and the natural park converge in order to enhance their respective qualities.

Hypernature 066 is composed of four elements: the ground, the grid and its objects, the forest, and the architectural device. These elements unify to offer users an intensified nature experience. Immersed in the heart of the forest, the user discovers a rich and dense ecosystem, atypical and rejuvenating, in the context of downtown. The architectural device is a valuable tool for appropriating the space, which takes the form of a platform for exploring the landscape. Composed of a light structure, the device proposes a series of floating paths, moments of appropriation and encounter, leaving the user free to choose between a direct route or a more sinuous path that offers an immersive experience.

The space also acts as an open-air research laboratory on the urban forest in order to multiply its cultural and environmental benefits. The team meticulously created a dense urban forest where the assembly of selected plant species is organized to restore all the forest’s strata, from the ground cover to the canopy through the shrubs and bushes. This approach creates a lasting sustainable urban forest and requires little maintenance. There are several devices that are in place to capture data on the environmental conditions to support urban forest research and contribute to the greening of the metropolis. This open data can also be used to fuel various opportunities for interactive and artistic expression in the Quartier des spectacles.

Like an animated lantern, the proposed space attracts the curious public to a magnified, inclusive and user-centered nature and urban experience: a spectacle in itself. Hypernature 066 is as bioclimatic as it is social – a fertile ground for innovation and benefits for the city, the neighborhood and festival-goers.