Champ de Mars, Montreal, Canada
2017 - 2018
Two Stage International Urban Design Competition
Finalist, Assignment Completed
City of Montreal
Martin Arfalk, Patrick Verhoeven, Danny Bridson, Cyril Pavlu, Katerina Vondrova,
Sid Lee Architecture, Option Aménagement, GBi Engineers
anno - Place des Montréalaises
A park to unify a divided Montreal
In the early 1970’s the City of Montreal constructed the Ville-Marie expressway. For 45 years the sunken roadway has been a divided Old and New Montreal. The Place des Montréalaises competition invited five teams to imagine how an important section of the expressway disconnect can be unified and healed.
The park’s iconic connection is a dramatic, circular bridge. Its form - once applied to the site - offers sensitive and contextual solutions to the park’s inherent challenges. The bridge offers two paths: the first is fast and functional - a quick and efficient route for daily commuters and workers. The second is an experiential and accessible path that gradually lifts pedestrians over Saint-Antoine street on a smooth slope, curving around to connect Champ-de-Mars to the new park.
The landscape that surrounds the bridge is inspired by the stories of twenty two woman from Montreal’s past. Eight ‘pioneers’ to celebrate and fourteen victims to remember. The proposal weaves their stories into the park, creating a discoverable landscape of the City’s past. The women are commemorated with a combination of planting selection, urban furniture and celebratory elements that highlight their lives, but also introduce a sense of their values and character into the place.
Located at a vital urban intersection, Place des Montréalaises caters to a diverse set of spatial, cultural and logistical needs. Anno creatively overlaps interventions in a meaningful way to generate optimal public space solutions. When combined the spaces, infrastructure, commemorations and plantings create a rich experience, concentrating public life and maximising the public’s return on investment.
Unifying disconnected districts
Anno is a bold vision for the Champ de Mars area that bridges the divide between the old and the new city in a way that is rooted in ‘Montreality’
Three spatial strategies
An iconic connection , a discoverable landscape and welcoming pivot points uncover and maximise the potentials of the long neglected urban space.
More from less
By overlapping infrastructure, spaces and surfaces the park focuses public life and provides efficient, quality places.
The bright and textured materiality of the bridges combined with its distinct form and sensitive integration into the site provides a strong and memorable identity to the space.
Strong form - sensitive landing
Despite its seemingly strict form, the circular bridge is a contextually sensitive choice that provides solutions to many of the site’s inherent challenges.
The floor of the square is separated into ‘flow’ and ‘stay’ spaces that allow for fast and simple snow clearance, while the heated bridge is usable year round.
Eight women from Montreal’s past are commemorated in the park. Through a local tree species, commemorative elements and programmatic choice.
The curving form of the bridge frames views in all directions, offerings new perspectives on both the New and Old City.