By : NIPPAYSAGE, EXP, EN TEMPS ET LIEU, CASTOR ET POLLUX
GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN – 16th edition
Discipline : Landscape & Territories : Grand Winner
Categories : Special Awards / Landscape + Water : Gold Certification
Categories : Special Awards / Landscape + Lighting : Gold Certification
Categories : Special Awards / Landscape + Art Integration : Platinum Winner
Categories : Special Awards / Environmental Project : Platinum Winner
Categories : Landscape Architecture / Landscape Architecture - Public Space : Gold Certification
The project of a new public square in the heart of the Plateau-Mont-Royal neighborhood, converts the site of a former gas station into a green space. This project marks the beginning of a new way of developing public space by exploiting its potential of \\ »in situ\\ » rainwater management of its urban sector, to become one of the first water squares or resilient public spaces in downtown Montreal.
In addition to being a resilient space for flooding issues related to climate change, the space brings to life and literally pays homage to the song \\ »Les fleurs de macadam\\ » by famous Québec signer and poet Jean-Pierre Ferland whose father operated the gas station that occupied the site in the 1950s.
This newly built project, adopted by its users as soon as it opened, is the result of a four year participatory process, which fed the design process of this plaza that is both calming and vibrant with animation.
A programmed immersive rain fountain alternating between real and metaphorical rain, depending on the weather conditions, a ribbon of varied benches strategically placed to contemplate the activity and suspended light works changing with the seasons, make it a place not to be missed.
The City of Montreal seized the opportunity of the privileged context for the creation of one of the first water squares or resilient plaza of the metropolis. In response to this mission, the design team combining civil engineering and landscape architecture, approached the project in close collaboration, from conceptual beginning to the final construction. The project thus combines ecological performance with the creation of a high-quality landscape experience and marks the beginning of a new way of imagining public space.
The square is said to be resilient because it goes beyond the on-site stormwater management and also manages the water of its extended urban perimeter. To achieve this, perimeter streets have been reshaped to direct runoff to lowered curb cuts, acting as gateways to the square\\’s large rain garden. From its first summer, the water square has attracted public interest, especially during a major rain event on June 16, 2022, when videos of the water-filled square scoured social media.
This project is a demonstration that green technologies can be an engine for creating landscapes or moments of beauty in urban life and experience.