By : Provencher_Roy
GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN – 16th edition
Discipline : Architecture
Categories : Residential Building / Apartment & Condo ≥ 10 storeys : Gold Certification
A panorama of the city and the river
Symphonia POP is established on a much-coveted lot along the Saint Lawrence River, close to Lac des Battures and the Île-des-Soeurs golf course. The site includes over 1,000 feet of riverbank. The concept is rooted in two distinct vistas: The north side of the site looks out onto downtown Montréal, which, along with Mount Royal, forms an urban landscape. Meanwhile, the southwest portion of the site faces the river, Montérégie, and the Lachine Rapids, offering a sweeping natural landscape.
The project is built next to the existing Symphonia tower, which marked Phase I of this residential complex. The southwest side replicates the curve of the river, while the larger side, facing the city core, forms an orthogonal volume. The architecture is sober, with an undifferentiated materiality, and employs blue-green glass on all sides of the building. The project also includes a sumptuous entrance hall positioned west of the tower.
Two perspectives conveying two complementary architectural forms
Firstly, on the river side, the presence in Phase I of an offset entrance hall incited architects to create a symmetrical central axis passing through the heart of the space to determine the architectural composition and placement of Phase II. This gesture enabled bringing together the architecture of the two phases into a coherent whole, as twin towers visible along the Serge Garant Street axis, and also the reproduction of a slightly curved façade, which is redesigned and expressed using pieces of transparent offset glass.
Secondly, to harmonize with the city side, the silhouette of downtown Montréal was reflected vertically through the curved surfaces. The resulting volumetry is similar to that of Phase I, on the river side and a distinctive cubic architecture, on the city side. The sporadic projection of cubes, referred to as “pops,” is immediately reminiscent of the various buildings making up the city’s urbanscape where it’s possible for buyers to connect two or three cubes spanning two floors in order to create a unique condominium that is flexible to their needs.
A landscape boundary between the built and the recreational
On the ground, the landscape unfolds with the same duality. Close to the riverbank, the river takes on great importance in defining the landscape architecture of the site. In order to appropriate the inverted curvature of the entrance hall and its resonance in the form of the pool, a new imaginary shoreline is superimposed on the site. This line becomes a border indicating a “land” portion, where the towers are located, and a “river” portion, where the recreational elements such as the heated outdoor pool and bicycle path are found. Thus, two landscapes exist side by side: the built environment consisting of elements within greenery, and the river environment, in which an undulatory figure completes the whole.
The 32-storey tower has 240 one- to three-bedroom residential units, ranging in size from 600 to 3,000 square feet, with ceiling heights varying from 9 to 11 feet. All spaces have dramatic windows and are positioned to maximize views of the landscape while offering full natural light exposure. Common areas include an indoor and outdoor pool, spa and sauna, state-of-the-art fitness studio, private function room, and lounge area.