McGill University
School of Architecture

ARCH 303
U2 Studio : October 2005
Cécile Baird, Architect
Prof. Pieter Sijpkes

LINK TO D+C 2006:

Last Minute Notice board:
Here is the link to the Weimar University website with hundreds of examples of different housing types:

The final review of our design project will be on Monday, Dec. 5, starting at 9:30
Venue: 5th floor free hand drawing studio.

Notice to U2 Sijpkes/Baird Group

We will meet Tuesday morning, November 8 at 9.00 in the studio for a review of everybody's work. (location to be decided)
As we discussed at last week's review, the requirements will be the same as last week's, but the sketches of plans and elevations will have to be much more precise, and everyone should present a site plan as well
as sections.

Pieter Sijpkes will be in his office this afternoon, in case you need help.

Notice: Those who want to participate in the CCA Charette should sign up now!


Click here for outline of  second half of  fall-2005 term (may be modified to as we go along)
Google Earth picture below

As we discussed this Friday afternoon, October 28, the next review will be on
Tuesday morning, November 1. We will meet in the studio at nine sharp.
Presentations should include:
* Sketch plans of the layout of your building (basement, commercial floor, two residential floors,  (green) roof.

* A simple physical cardboard model with the layouts sketched-in, showing the circulation pattern should be included in your              presentation. 
* Every appartment must have two exits, and a balcony.
* The building 'footprint' on the site can occupy a maximum of 80% of the site.
* If you provide parking, cars have to access from the alley .
* Wood frame construction is most economical for  building of this type, but if you wish you may use other materials.


We will meet to review your first week’s assignment tomorrow (Tuesday, October 25) starting 13.30, in the 5th floor drawing studio.
There is lots of space for pin-up purposes, and a data projector will be available for digital presentation purposes.
Pieter Sijpkes is in his office (306) today (Monday) and tomorrow morning; if you need advice or help feel free to ask him.
Otherwise, see you tomorrow at 13.30

Cecile Baird
Pieter Sijpkes



Outline of the first half of this studio below:

Look in this box for latest announcements!

Guest lecture by Michael Carroll, winner of le Prix de Rome,  next week Tuesday, September 13 RM 212 13.30
(Time has to be confirmed)
Read the following story about the Freedom Tower's desing was allegedly stolen from a Yale student in architecture..

Next deadline:
Monday Morning September 26  9.00 AM review of work. Everyone should participate. in the review.
Present: Cecile Baird and Pieter Sijpkes
Place: 5th floor  drawing studio

Next Monday October 3: Desk Reviews- Please sign up
Have a look at this project in Philadelphia that is very similar to ours:
Monday Morning October 17
Field trip for all.
Meet at 11.00 AM at the de l'Eglise Metro station (Green Line, going towards d'Angrignon)
Cecile Baird and Pieter Sijpkes will meet you there.


During the first six weeks of this term, students will develop a project on a site located on Park Avenue, near Sherbrooke Street. This exercise will be an opportunity to learn how knowledge of architecture is also knowledge of the city.

Designing a new building involves shaping the volumes and the interior an exterior of private space, but it also involves shaping the character and quality of public space. The character of this part of Park Avenue is not as eclectic as it may appear. The street's morphology has an inherent structure. An appropriate insertion is one that understands and builds on this structure.

  . ]
 The site is located next (South)  to the "Quality" Hotel
Project Objectives

1    To become familiar with the practice of urban analysis
2    To use analysis as a tool to develop an infill project in the city
3    To develop a critical eye for the qualities of the urban environment
4    To learn how to plan the interior spaces of a building while also mastering the form of  the building's exterior surfaces and  space
5    To apply basic construction principles

A rare example of  the opposite of urban infill---> urban subtraction:

Project Schedule (maybe adjusted)

Week 1    September 6th                Site visit + urban analysis
Week 2    September 12th              Case study , site plan + concept
Week 3    September 19th               Preliminary plans + precedents
Week 4    September 26th               Plans + elevations
Week 5    October 3rd                    Model or 3D view
Week 6    October 10th and 11th     Presentations

Project Documentation

*    Books on the city or the question of scale : see bibliography (two handout sheets)
*    Historical plans of the area : consult the Bibliothèque Nationale du Quebec website (BNQ - cartes et plans)
*    Historical and municipal information on the area : consult the Borough website (Plateau-Mont-Royal)


Evaluation Criteria

*    Understanding of the projects’ issues
*    Strength of concept
*    Logic of plan organization
*    Geometry of volumes
*    Quality of presentation drawings
*    Order and quality of oral presentation
*    Level of autonomy in design process

WEEK 1    September 6th        

Site visit + urban analysis

This first week, students will visit their project site and study its built environment. The object of this exercise is to gather the kind of knowledge of the surrounding city fabric that will help develop the main concept of the infill project. What are the urban and architectural elements that characterize this portion of Park Avenue and which of those make it different from other Montreal streets ? What urban and architectural elements make this particular site different from any other site (neighbouring building heights, orientation, facade treatments of neighbouring buildings, historical attributes, setbacks etc.)?

First, consider the streetscape as a whole unit, as a public space, to use and experience.

*    What is Park Avenue / Bleury Street's place in Montreal's overall urban grid ?
*    How is Park Avenue different from Durocher or Milton Street ?
*    How is it different from Sherbrooke Street ?
*    Is the distance of the buildings to the street regular or irregular ?
*    What is the typical size (width) of the individual properties that line the street ?
*    Are the sidewalks narrow or wide, are there any trees ?
*    What type of street lighting is provided - is it made for pedestrians or for cars?
*    What type of buildings line Park Avenue ?
*    Are they alike in age, in architectural style, in size ?
*    Is the street's historical evolution clear and apparent - how so ?
*    Are most buildings a certain color or of a particular material ?
*    Do any buildings stand out - and why ?

Then, consider the project site as an original component belonging to this particular street.

*    Are the neighboring buildings alike - how are they different in size, footprint, material ?
*    How do the neighboring ground floors relate to the sidewalk (use, distance, height) ?
*    How can the new building connect  to its left and right neighbors ? (mur mitoyen, or a set-back)?
*    How do the other buildings relate to the back of the site - the alley ?
*    How is the site sunlit - is it in the shade of nearby tall buildings ?

Students should present the results of their study in one of two ways:
    A portfolio of materials (approx. 8x10 inches) using visual material (sketches, plans, diagrams, photographs, etc.) and highlight         any observations that may eventually be used to develop their project.
    A digital presentation, using a data projector linked to a computer

This studnet presentation will take place on Monday  September 12 (time and place to be announced)

On our first visit  to the site we will  measure the length and depth of the site and estimate the heights of the buildings on either side.
here are some links to images of the site:
satellite image (Google Earth)
Park-Sherbrooke small (1912)
Park-Sherbrooke small (1889)
Area map (1912)

* Atelier Build:
* Atelier build wins Canada Council Prix de Rome!
* a small infill project showing two alternative exteriors
* URL Bibliotheque Nationale du Quebec:
* Description of the book The Image of The City by Kevin Lynch:

WEEK 2    September 12th

Site plan + concept

The study of urban morphology was initiated in the 1950s in Venice (Muratori, Rossi, Benevolo, Sitte…). It has since been developed by the French (Boudon, Panerai, Choay…) and has since been expanded by American scholars (Lynch, Hall, Hillier..) to include different fields such as sociology and psychology. An urban analysis, inspired by the original Italian school, is done in two steps. The first looks at the evolution of the city (or parts of the city) and how it has changed through time, how its various elements have been transformed. The second looks at the city here and now : the result of these transformations on the original natural site (topography, waterways, forests, etc.) on the transportation networks (street types or hierarchy, railroads, highways, etc.) on the building lots (size and shape), on the buildings themselves (building typologies, materials, window types, structural frames, etc.) and on public spaces (parks, city squares, etc.). The knowledge gained from this type of study can be used to plan a new building or a group of new buildings ; new parts of the city that are specific in time, place and culture.

In the past few years, with the intent of enhancing the quality of new constructions, the City of Montreal has put together planning committees that review projects before emitting permits. Cécile Baird will explain the process of preparing and presenting a project for a client and for the new planning committees (CCU : Comité consultatif d'urbanisme) set up in each of Montreal's Boroughs. These committees look at projects that are on sites regulated by a Site Planning and Architectural Integration Programs (in French it is called a PIIA : plan d'implantation et d'intégration architecturale). The projects should respect certain criteria related to its urban environment.

*    Examples of projects prepared for the CCU of Côte-des-Neiges/ Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.

*    Projects designed by Atelier B.R.I.C. presented to the CCU of Verdun + Plateau-Mont-Royal.

*    Examples of PIIA bylaws : Plateau-Mont-Royal Borough website, TMR document,

Students should prepare a site plan and drawings that clearly communicate the architectural concept of their project.

WEEK 3    September 19th        

Preliminary plans &  precedents

This week students will assemble the different components of the program in plan and in elevation. Each will take into account the results of previous studies and analyses as well as the various constraints of the building code (fire safety, access for the handicapped, etc.)

WEEK 4    September 26th        

Plans, elevations and model.

Students should prepare preliminary plans, front elevation, at least one section cut  and a model that explains the interior volumes.
Everyone will have a turn to present their project.
You can use 'hard copy' or digital means of presentation.
At the crit there will be a digital projector and a laptop available for use by students.

WEEK 5    October 3rd            

Model or 3D views

Prepare documents that are necessary to properly and effectively communicate the project concept to the client. Presentation drawings should be at once seductive and intelligent. The project should be convincing because its foundations are rational and its architectural integration sensitive.
*    Draw plans that are easy to read and to understand (use colour, wall in-fill, etc.).
*    Clearly label each drawing (identify drawing and scale).
*    Use colour if it helps express a particular idea.
*    Draw 3D sketches that will best express your intentions in terms of space and volume.

WEEK 6    October 10th and 11th        


Minimal requirements : Do not prepare construction documents. Communicate the spirit and character of your project with precise, scaled, rendered drawings. Textures, shadows, colours or shades of gray, bring life to a two dimensional drawings. Label each drawing (title and scale). Identify each panel with student and project names.

*    One detailed site plan (road, sidewalk, trees, ground surface materials…)
*    One small, concise concept statement  (sketch or diagram, short text…)
*    All floor plans  (fill-in wall width, highlight circulation areas or certain spaces…)
*    One section cut  (fill-in wall and floor widths, show variation of interior volumes…)
*    Main elevation  (showing a sense of the materials used…)
*    Model or 3D views (include all buildings that surround your project site)