Reappropriation and design of the truncated northern fringe of Dorchester Square
The northern edge of historic Dorchester Square had been cut off in the mid-1900s by the construction of an underground parking garage and the widening of a street. These actions are playfully incorporated into the design for a classic Victorian fountain positioned on the line of this bifurcation. From the park side of this divide, the elevation of the fountain is revealed as a timeless water feature typical of Montreal’s mid-nineteenth century ‘belle-époque’ period. From the street side, the fountain is sliced to manifest the cut line to be visible as a two-dimensional silhouette cut-out. The relationship between these two elevations presents a curious tension that embodies an evolving history of civic values while pragmatically maintaining their function and spirit. Similarly, the original diagonal Victorian pathways radiating from the centre of Dorchester Square had been sliced by two car ramps descending to the underground parking garage. Two arched pedestrian bridges restore these axes without interrupting traffic flows, effectively positioning the park thresholds closer to rue St-Catherine to plug into large volumes of pedestrians that circulate on this emblematic commercial street.
Ville de Montréal
François Ménard/Fountain Engineer, Aedifica, Gilles Arpin/Lighting, Les Services exp inc.
4035 m2 (1 acre)
National Award, Small-Scale Landscapes category – CSLA Awards of Excellence
Grand prix architecture de paysage de projet public – Grands Prix du Design
Gold award – Pool and Hot Tub Council of Canada – Construction and Design Awards – Public or Multi-Family Stand-Alone Water Features or Fire Features category (awarded to Soucy Aquatik)