City of Montreal
A legacy of the City of Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations, this transformative project is integral to the progressive environmental rehabilitation of a 192-hectare site. Originally a vast tract of agricultural land, this area in Montreal’s Saint-Michel neighbourhood was used as a calcium quarry and a landfill for decades; some 40 tonnes of the latter are now camouflaged but still generate ground instability and fumes. The site’s environmental makeover began in the mid-1990s, and recently culminated in a safe and fun solution to the site’s significant environmental challenges.
One of the most ambitious such urban projects in North America
The mandate awarded to Lemay’s landscape architecture team was for the branding, furniture design, signage and lighting strategy, interpretation program, plans and specifications and site supervision for the area of the site now open to the public, a first phase of several.
The Lemay team first had to meet an uncommon challenge: How to safely capture the gases emitted by the former landfill while allowing access to visitors? In collaboration with Morelli Designers, the answer laid in the creation of protective casings for 250 biogas-capturing wells. Their spherical shape allows them to adapt to the soil movements beneath and the phosphorescent glass fibres membrane absorb sunlight to create a soft, surreal glow in the evening, promoting the new landscape’s feeling of otherworldliness.