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.
City of Montreal; Ministry of Culture and Communications, Government of Quebec
Groupe Cardinal Hardy
15 000 m2 (3,7 acres) (Phases 1 and 2)
National Merit – Canadian Society of Landscape Architects
Regional Honor – Canadian Society of Landscape Architects
Plaza / Garden