Credit: City of Montreal – Large Parks, Greening, Mount-Royal
SMi participates in the redevelopment of the Place Vauquelin, a major historical site of Montreal
On the eve of the Montreal’s 375th Anniversary summer celebrations, the City of Montreal called upon SMi’s experts and landscape architects from Lemay Co inc. to quickly undertake the long overdue redevelopment of the remarkable heritage site, Place Vauquelin. The Place will be raised and will be given a new fountain as well as heated paved surface for the cold months and the lookout area offering a view on both the old and modern city.
Located near the city hall in the heart of the Old Montreal, this iconic site of the metropolis is very popular with tourists and people living or working in the area.
In order to fulfill this mandate, our experts must take into account esthetic, archeological, heritage and economic issues while ensuring universal accessibility to the site.
The site offers many challenges that are in keeping with SMi’s expertise namely the preservation of archaeological remains such as the foundations of a Jesuit church dating from the late 17th century and a prison built in the early 19th century. In order to preserve the integrity of these archeological remains, our specialists have decided to keep the excavation to a minimum by raising the place to its historical height, choosing non-traditional construction methods and carefully selecting the most suitable location for the new infrastructures, mechanical room, for instance.
Apart from the preservation of archaeological remains, the fountain mechanics and snow melting system were among the most complex challenges of this mandate.
The snow and ice melting system for the ground surface and the universally accessible ramp calls for the installation of a pipeline system with thermal fluid (glycol). The stairs to the champ de Mars will be heated with an electric system. This type of heating system will not only be beneficial for its users, but also for the root system of the trees.
This solution will generate significant savings on equipment maintenance, building as well as paved surfaces since snow removal will not be required. Moreover, the supporting technics used will guarantee a lifespan of more than 25 years.
|“It [this project] will allow the visitors and Montrealers alike to discover or rediscover the place Vauquelin, an iconic site of our metropolis. Located in a declared heritage site of Montreal – an important cultural, social and tourist pole – the redevelopment of the Place will strengthen ties between the buildings and prestigious spaces around it.”
Ms. Hélène David, Minister of Culture and Communications
|“The redevelopment of this median area that connects a string of important public spaces will be a major legacy for the occasion of Montreal’s 375th anniversary in 2017. It will be an innovative and exemplary, interactive and connected Place that meets the highest quality execution standards.”
Mr. Richard Bergeron, Executive committee member in charge of the City’s downtown strategy, City of Montreal
The Place Vauquelin redevelopment project illustrates perfectly the range of complex challenges that stimulates our multidisciplinary teams. SMi experts were able to find smart solutions and add its innovative touch while preserving the harmony and the rich heritage of this historical site.