assignment

   This project involves the design of a sculpture park, sculptor’s studio, and artist’s residence on a strip of land along the south bank of the Lachine Canal. typical aspects of land use, access, views, topography, light, textures, acoustics, water, flora, industrial elements, buildings, paths, sequence, sculpture placement, etc will be considered. The residence is intended for use by a visiting artist-in-residence. The studio should be large enough to complete fairly large sculptures, in reasonable scale with the residence, and there should be an outdoor work and storage area in addition to a semi-private open space for the residence.

 design intent

   When first visiting the site, one notices that the site is complex and multi-layered. English and French, land and water, day and night, natural and mechanical, old and new converge on this site, and must all be brought together in harmony for the park to be successful.
   Griffintown is an area rich in history, with a dense, constantly changing urban fabric. The main purpose of the area was historically industrial. However, it is becoming increasingly a recreational area, with new art galleries and an expanded boardwalk on the Lachine Canal. The one consistent element in this site is the urban grid. This linear arrangement becomes the defining factor in the division of the sculpture park system.
   This project was commissioned for a resident sculptor. However, the site is already frequently used for a variety of purposes. People would go to picnic, bicycle, and enjoy the fresh air. It is therefore important to keep this site above all a public place, providing services to those visiting and enriching their experience as much as possible. Basic needs such as refreshments and washrooms are provided, as well as options to view the sculptor’s workspace and an exhibition room.
   The assignment calls for the creation of a sculpture park, but it is important to consider the existing green space and vegetation. There exist possibilities for transplantation, and a use of vegetation and other objects already found on the site to define the areas in the park, and provide interesting and new settings for the sculpture.
   Each section would have a different sensation, but in order to avoid boredom, a multitude of paths must be made available. These address the needs of cyclists, pedestrians, as well as the more utilitarian needs of the sculptor. The intertwining paths offer new options every time the site is experienced.
   The buildings themselves respond to the large scale of the buildings surrounding them, but also to the landscape around them. Large truss shapes are reminiscent of heavy industry, but green roofs emulate the land around it. The studio, as well as the residence, respond to both the urban grid of Griffintown and the lines of the factories behind it.
   The duality of the site, caught between two worlds, causes a constant transition from one area to the other, constantly shifting experiences and perception of the space.