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.
Université du Québec à Montréal
11 400 m2 (2,8 acres)
Certificate of Merit – National Urban Design Awards – Urban Architecture
Plaza / Garden