Ville de Montréal
Lemay + Angela Silver + SNC Lavalin
in collaboration with ELEMA
The winning project in the City of Montreal’s International Multidisciplinary Landscape Architecture Competition, FLDWRK x Angela Silver poetically merges architecture, landscape design and art methodologies creating a series of homage moments refocusing the lens of history to women’s contributions to city building. Two radically divergent topographies merge to explore the subtleties of Montreal, the place of women at the heart of the City’s evolution and the vivacity of the contemporary user. This grand gesture exists at a crucial juncture for urban and civic life in the City as it responds to the surrounding monumental landscape and institutions: the historic Champ-de-Mars, the new Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montreal (CHUM), Montreal City Hall and the municipal courthouse, among others. As a FLDWRK exploration, the project critically frames the lenses of New Apertures + Urban Metamorphasis.
In order to create a poetic and inclusive experience, the names of 21 women became the conceptual material and the framework for the development of the Place des Montréalaises. Through a process of distillation, names, fragments of abstraction of names and letters, an homage is paid to the history of Montreal women including the past, present and future.
The suspended architectural armature becomes a flowery garden meadow of 21 Indigenous plants that will flower sequentially with the changing seasons, each one representing influential females of Montreal. The horizon of this planted inclined plane joins the Cité administrative delicately. In its heart, the text embedded steps become a place of convergence where names of 21 women appear through an abstraction of letters that invites sitting and socializing: an accessible, intimate, and evocative space.
The gestures fluidly and harmoniously merge architecture, landscape architecture and art creating a series of celebratory moments highlighting the contribution of women, whether through their impact on the development of the city through the Pioneers or by calling attention to the memory of injustices done to women through the Duty of Remembrance for Marie-Josèphe-Angélique as well as the 14 victims of the Polytechnique feminicide.
The suspended architectural armature becomes a flowery garden meadow of 21 Indigenous plants that will flower sequentially with the changing seasons, each one representing a female Montrealer of great influence. The names of these famous women are also inscribed on the plane’s integrated staircase that invites sitting and socializing: an accessible, intimate, and evocative space. The inclined plane re-frames the fracture in the cityscape left by the 1972 construction of a sunken east-west expressway, effectively separating Old Montreal from its downtown counterpart.
The inclined plane re-frames the fracture in the cityscape left by the 1972 construction of a sunken east-west expressway, effectively unifying Old Montreal with the new city of Montreal.
“This project is healing the city by connecting back over the highway to join two major precincts. It also honours the memory of 21 women who were so important to the evolution of Montreal. It imagines itself throughout the year through a meadow of flowers, trying to take advantage of all of the seasons. It’s beautifully rendered through line drawings. ” – Susan Fitzgerald, juror, Canadian Architect Awards