Place d’Youville
Place d’Youville
Montréal (Québec), Canada

New public square in Old Montreal

Phase 1 – 1997-2002 (Built)

A quilt of pedestrian walkways is laid over place D’Youville like a protective blanket, responding to the site’s archaeological significance and creating a dialogue with the area’s history. Constructed with a variety of techniques and materials – including wood, concrete, granite, and limestone – the sidewalks recreate the 500-year history of sidewalk construction in the city. At the same time, they engage the present moment in their placement, weaving between access points for the city museum, offices, restaurants, and residences on adjacent street facades. Within the square, the sidewalks converge on a central path that tracks the route of an ancient creek. Benches, abundant greenery, and the soft lighting of adjacent buildings create a restive atmosphere that invites pause and reflection.

By building up the project through layers of archaeologically inspired data, we were able to render the identity of place D’Youville legible in the site itself. Historic materials and textures resurface in the project, creating direct material links with the history of the Old Port.

Phase 2– 2006-2008

This site is notable as the seat of Canada’s parliament from 1844 to 1849, when it was torched by a riotous mob. The language and concept of place D’Youville’s first phase is continued here, with scorched earth and black materials used to mark the foundations of the destroyed parliament buildings. Once completed, place D’Youville will establish an important new gateway to the city’s waterfront and Old Port.

Client
City of Montreal; Ministry of Culture and Communications, Government of Quebec

Collaboration
Groupe Cardinal Hardy

Area
15 000 m2 (3,7 acres) (Phases 1 and 2)

Awards

Canadian Society of Landscape Architects
Regional Honor

Canadian Society of Landscape Architects
National Merit

Year
1997-2008

Status
Built

Categories
Heritage
Institutional
Plaza / Garden
Streetscape
Jean-François Vézina, 2004
Denis Farley, 1999
Denis Farley, 1999
Jean-François Vézina, 2004
Jean-François Vézina, 2004
Jean-François Vézina, 2004
Jean-François Vézina, 2004
Denis Farley, 1999
Plan, Groupe Cardinal Hardy + CC+A, March 2005
Strategy (first part of the image), CC+A
Strategy (second part of the image), CC+A
Concept, CC+A + Groupe Cardinal Hardy, 1997
Historical map, archive
Inspiration, unknown source
Jean-François Vézina, 2004
Jean-François Vézina, 2004