Circa 1960, under the influence of hazy, clouded judgment and the ABUSE OF SUBSTANCE, Montreal began to show symptoms of what is now an INFECTED metropolis. The disease, that familiar North American plague, metastasized under favorable financial conditions and opportunity spawning Rapid Development.
Whereas the 20th Century could easily make solid predictions regarding the outcome of such a malady, the 21st century has not been given this luxury. The diagnosis is non-terminal; the outcome however is only a probability. The symptoms and side effects require immediate treatment.
Montreal's urban spaces, treated primarily as residual by such powerful developments such as Place Bonaventure and Place Ville Marie, are liberated only a few days a year. Home to many spectators, the small interstitial, neglected lots humbly welcome hundreds during the many festivals Montreal is known for, and left vacant for the remainder of the year. God forbid that culture and its environment should coexist, a powerful interconnectedness between the two.a
Evoking images of a lunar landscape, the concrete garden that is Montreal lacks SENSUALITY. Culture's focus on visual impact can only be understood fully outside of the city. The presence of stimuli such as fragrance, sounds, texture and even stars are noted merely for their absence in (the city).
It was decided long ago, a story too old to fully recount, that the green spaces of Montreal should be divided. A long and ugly divorce left Parc Jean Drapeau floating on two islands in the St. Lawrence River, as remnants of Expo '67. Parc Mont Royal was banished atop one of Montreal's best known landmarks, Mont Royal. The two green spaces, presiding as zenith and nadir over a kingdom of void were left disconnected and restrained, unable to consummate and fertilize their relationship.
Nature, needing a venue in a chaotic city environment to express neglected elements such as the passage of time, witnessed through the changing of the seasons, or its entropic existence seen through ecological regeneration is left only to fight back with nuisances such as small weeds and high-maintenance grasses.
Place Eugene Lapierre exists as the heart of the city's Quartier du Spectacle. This heart, compressed by the four muscles that establish its cardinal points, is locked in a constant contraction. The pulsating metropolis provokes the site, resulting in a form confined to its boundaries, too weak to fight back. Fertile and eager, Place Eugene Lapierre is only one member of this Sensual Revolution. Interstitial spaces all over the city are connected through a network armed and ready to rebel.
The design flies in on the wind, offering an engagement of the senses. It liberates the site allowing it to reveal not only a green space in the heart of the city, but a sensual volume created by aroma, texture, sound and light. The flexible space is designed to accept change and growth, understanding that the relationship of nature and urbanism is mercurial; it abides only by the spontaneous and unpredictable laws of the natural world. The intention is to intensify the realization of the intangible and mystical occurrences of nature to awaken a sense of in the connectedness that lies between our culture and the environment we inhabit. By highlighting the mechanisms that propagate nature, rather than applying nature through artifice, society can make their own conclusions as to the finale of this opera.