Simon-Valois Meeting Area

Simon-Valois Meeting area
Finalist Team - Urban Design Contest

The design of the existing Simon-Valois Place induces a natural movement towards the streets that border it. The proposal tries to continue this movement and to let the Square flow into the new Meeting area, which is covered by the same three-tone pavers. The paving stops to accommodate the vegetation and allow the natural rain drainage in the soil. The position of these new rain gardens is dictated by the flow of traffic, optimizing its fluidity.

Most of these gardens are associated with "pods", light concrete surfaces that act as a marker of location and sometimes crossing the boundary between the vehicle zone and the pedestrian zone. This voluntary transgression indicates that the public square is not confined to sidewalks. Benches marry the shape of gardens and allow passers-by to sit for a moment.

The proposal offers several sub-areas with varied experiences. The Crossroad, marked at the four corners by pods in light concrete, is at the heart of the redefined public space. The Mobility Hub is designed to meet alternative transportation needs. The Parlor is ideal to sit while observing the Square. Refreshing, the Woodlands complements the residential character of Valois Avenue. The Spot is formed by a large "pod" where stand seven trees among which pedestrians can walk.

On Valois Avenue, where calm is needed, wild species from local vegetation are chosen to maintain a familiar character. A delicate color palette guided the selection of floral species and fruit trees were selected to favor the presence of birds. On Ontario Street, which is busier, the choice of local wildlife species that are resilient and brightly colored is preferred. The selected species offer good resistance to de-icing salts and compaction. The higher and lower density canopy ensures a good diffusion of natural light on the commercial promenade.

Context of the contest
The Meeting area borders Simon-Valois Place, a very popular public square located in Montreal's Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district. This contest aims to make the area more user-friendly and safe by prioritizing pedestrian access while maintaining the passage of cars, bicycles and public transit.

As part of the competition for the development of the Simon-Valois Meeting Area, Paul Bernier Architecte joined forces with L'Abri and Alexandre Bernier Architecte in September 2017 to develop a project for the new zone boarding Simon-Valois Place. As part of the four finalists, the team uses Projet Paysage and Ingemax to enhance the proposal for the second stage of the contest.

Architecture: Alexandre Bernier Architecte - L'Abri - Paul Bernier Architecte
Alexandre Bernier (ABA), Claudia Campeau (PBA), Francis M Labrecque (L’Abri), Jennifer Tu-Ahn Phan (L’Abri), Lysanne St-Laurent (L'Abri), Paul Bernier (PBA)
Landscape Architecture: Projet Paysage - Christian Ducharme, Serge Gallant
Civil Engineering: Ingemax - Julie Larocque