Pierre-Dansereau Science Campus — UQAM
Pierre-Dansereau Science Campus — UQAM
Montréal (Québec), Canada

Master plan and public landscape for downtown campus

The serene spirit of the classical campus is harnessed in the master landscape plan for the science campus at the University of Quebec at Montreal. For the bustling downtown location, we planted the grounds with over 150 trees to create a sanctuary of study: an urban forest crisscrossed by pedestrian pathways.

Tree species were carefully selected to give UQAM a distinctive identity that changes seasonally: bright yellow gingko colour the campus in the fall, and a profusion of magnolia blooms announce the end of the spring semester. Kentucky coffee trees, honey locusts, and “Accolade” elms complete the forest. The choice and placement of trees creates a diaphanous canopy of leaves, offering partial shade in the summer and allowing light to penetrate freely in the winter months.

In contrast with the rectilinear layout of the campus, public paths form a jigsaw puzzle of diagonal axes that weave together street access and building entrances.

In the new biological sciences pavilion, a street-level vestibule opens to a generous interior court, whose plan takes on a floral pattern as an emblem for the faculty. Petals become colourful planting beds, and stamen are translated as lush honey locust tree branches. Glass-faced walkways in the surrounding pavilion offer a plunging view of the courtyard: a kind of giant microscope onto our “floral” specimens.

Nestled between the TELUQ building and the student residence, a small clearing peppered with paved leaf motifs on a grassed ground forms the reverse image of the first courtyard. Extensive plantings and a sloped topography lend privacy to the adjacent residences.

A formal Zen-inspired garden in a third courtyard serves as a space for official receptions. Japanese-style slate steps are patterned as three oversized gingko leaves, leading to a bench sheltered by a majestic broad bean. At the edges of the space, bamboo plantings provide a semi-opaque border that encloses this contemplative zone, distancing it from its built surroundings.

Client
Université du Québec à Montréal

Area
11 400 m2 (2,8 acres)

Awards

Prix nationaux en Design Urbain
Certificate of Merit – Urban Architecture Category

Year
2003-2005

Status
Built

Categories
Institutional
Master Plan
Park
Plaza / Garden
Flower Courtyard, CC+A, July 2006
Aerial view, urban context, Claude Duchaîne / modified by CC+A, September 2005
Plan, CC+A, November 2004

Plan in Spring, CC+A, 2004
Plan in Summer, CC+A, 2004

Plan in Autumn, CC+A, 2004

Plan in Winter, CC+A, 2004
Kimberley Street, CC+A, July 2006

Kimberley Street, CC+A, July 2006

Science Complex Center, CC+A, July 2006

Science Complex Center

Kimberley Street, CC+A, July 2006

Leaf Courtyard, CC+A, July 2006
Leaf Courtyard, CC+A, July 2006
Flower Courtyard, CC+A, July 2006
Inspiration for the flower courtyard: magnolia, photograph: Eugene2008, http://www.flickr.com/photos/17121074@N00/406175246/

Inspiration for the Flower Courtyard, J.-C. CORBEIL, A. ARCHAMBAULT,
 Le nouveau dictionnaire visuel, Montréal, Les Éditions Québec Amérique inc., p.80.
The "zen" garden, CC+A, July 2006
The "zen" garden, CC+A, July 2006
The "zen" garden, CC+A, July 2006