Project Overview

“But you have to take all of those things, you have to take into consideration the paths, the roadways, how much cloud cover there is, how much foliage cover there is, whether there are streams, all of that comes into play.”
-Richard Serra, sculptor

The objective of this project was to design a sculpture park, studio and artist’s residence on a 500m long site situated in Montreal’s Lachine Canal. Following the construction of the Bonaventure expressway in the 1960s, the historical importance of the canal and its surrounding community were neglected for several decades. However, fresh interest and recent developments have revitalized the area, bringing to light its cultural significance as Montreal’s first industrial district. Although today joggers run along its docks and pleasure boats navigate its waters, the Lachine canal and its surrounding area have succeeded in maintaining its original industrial character; monumental grain silos and rusted steel structures remain signature elements in the urban landscape. The project site becomes the physical manifestation of the area’s unique identity. The sculpture park highlights the canal’s current function as a place of leisure while the studio, along with the arduous production of significant works of art, recall the area’s past in manufacturing. The sculptor’s residence represents the core of the project. The everyday life of the artist, at once hidden and exposed to the public, provides the park with a distinctive vitality. Drawing inspiration from the park, its visitors, the studio and the residence, the sculptor infuses the site with his or her creative energy.