Concepts & Competitions
City of Montreal
YEAR OF COMPLETION
Montreal, Québec, Canada
Mario Nájera + Raquel Peñalosa + Diana Elizalde + WAA Montréal / Vinci Consultants / BES / Pageau Morel / Les Ateliers Ublo
Located in the heart of a dynamic neighbourhood, the Quartier des spectacles (QDS), scene of Montreal's cultural life, Terrain 066 (T066) is enclosed by de Maisonneuve Boulevard, Président-Kennedy Avenue and Jeanne-Mance and De Bleury Streets. It is a vacant lot set in a dense urban sector of the city, and was for a long time exploited as a parking lot and a technical storage space for the QDS.
The T066 project had to reconcile contradictory constraints, such as creating substantial green spaces, providing a flexible open space dedicated to the festivals, and taking into account the infrastructure of the metro station located below. The project, that won an international competition, will transform this residual urban parcel into a human-scale park that is permeable, inclusive, and accessible to all, and where vegetation takes the form of an experimental urban forest, putting into practice ideas from the theory of ecological succession (Miyawaki Method). The Miyawaki Method is a proven method used to create denser and more biodiverse ecological spaces.
This approach will translate in the creation of a native, urban forest that is 30 times denser than a conventional urban forest, while growing 10 times faster! In some parts of the forest, there will be as many as seven saplings per square meter!
A pedestrian footbridge will span across the urban forest. Park users will thus be able to walk through and contemplate the forest from the footbridge. The footbridge will also offer a vantage point on the city centre. With its organic shape and undulating profile, the footbridge will become a place for meeting, socializing, walking and playing. Accessible and inclusive, it will become an observation point overlooking the Place des festivals and will offer a bird's eye view of the urban forest and its biodiversity. The footbridge is designed to be used during all seasons. In the summer, misters will provide coolness to users, while during the winter, radiant heating elements installed under the footbridge, will provide them with a little warmth and comfort.
The esplanade will be facing the urban forest and will be, in a way, its counterpart. Covered with prefabricated concrete pavers sporting curvilinear patterns reminiscent of the sinuous forms of the footbridge, it will be a versatile and flexible space, designed to host a variety of cultural and artistic activities throughout the seasons.
Wavy prefabricated white concrete benches will separate the forest from the esplanade and protect it. Bleachers will connect the esplanade to the footbridge. Both will offer users a variety of experiences: spots to break, to relax and to rest. Trees and shrubs in planters will be scattered on the esplanade. The species will be chosen for their resistance to climatic extremes and urban conditions. The planters will be moved during festivals to delimit the areas assigned to technical services and allow for uninterrupted use of the remaining space. The site's rainwater management will be done in an eco-responsible manner. Thus, only a minimal amount of water will be returned to the city's sewers.
T066 will become an iconic park in a highly mineralized downtown area devoid of green spaces. Through its spatial organization, it will allow for fluid circulation in a permeable space, while its facilities will support community life and provide playful and educational experiences to enjoy the neighbourhood differently.