The City of Montreal has selected KANVA's IMAGO as the winner of Vivre le Chantier Sainte-Cath, a competition seeking to maintain access to and usage of St. Catherine Street, downtown Montreal's primary commercial artery, as it undergoes a four-year construction period. The construction includes infrastructure developments—enhancements to underground infrastructure, new public transit systems, and increased pedestrian access—and while segments of the street will be closed to car traffic, pedestrian paths and all businesses will remain open during construction.
To mitigate the negative impact of construction on the street, the competition sought to alter perceptions of the construction, minimize disruptions of routine city operations, and inform users about this and future developments. In stark visual contrast to its surroundings and the adjacent construction work, IMAGO's bold design reinforces St. Catherine Street as a destination in Montreal.
The project is composed of a series of modular catenary arches formed by biomorphic inflatable structures anchored to concrete construction fences. Designed to reflect the growth of an organism beginning from an embryo, the structures shelter, animate, and integrate with the construction site. The intervention can adapt to the work being performed on each section of the site, serving as the liaison between pedestrians and the road, sidewalk, or underground construction.
IMAGO's design is evocative of the anatomy of a butterfly wing, a robust but flexible composite of many delicate parts. Diagonal members form diamond-shaped voids, some of which depict the transformation of St. Catherine Street with historical images, while the rest ventilate the installation. Due to IMAGO's modularity, the final installation can be modified according to its budget by adjusting the number of components, while the inflatable modules can be easily handled and stored.
Experts on Montreal HistoryPaul-André Linteau, Susan Bronson, Gabrielle Mathieu
ClientCity of Montreal
Civil EngineeringAlta Construction
BrandingBruce Mau Design
News via: KANVA