SALTO: A jump in which the body makes a complete turn in space around its horizontal axis. Larousse
SALTO: McGill College Avenue takes the form of a wide, predominantly pedestrian promenade. At first it weaves its way through a dense tree cover, in pursuit of the mountain. It rises up to create an opening onto the underground and then turns around to discover its mineral reverse. The rolling movement reconciles the deviation of the central axis of the McGill University campus with that of the Place Ville-Marie esplanade.
SALTO as an organizing element of the project:
To mutate from a space with a vegetal character to a space with a mineral character
In pursuit of the mountain, nature invades the avenue in its northern part. The abundant vegetation is inspired by the species that took root in the mountain. The generous canopy offers protection from the elements while reducing heat islands.
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On the outskirts of Sainte-Catherine Street, the dense plant cover is transformed into an open space that can accommodate outdoor terraces and street furniture. The planting is added and gives way to urbanity. The mineralized space, in light colors, enters in osmosis with the large steps and the esplanade of Place Ville-Marie.
To travel through the ages
At both ends of McGill College Avenue are older buildings that give it a sense of presence and history; they will be enhanced by the landscaping that surrounds them.
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The heart of McGill College Avenue, lined with modern buildings, opens up to reveal the interior shopping mall and provide access to public transit stations. A physical and visual contact is established between the "above" and the "below". McGill Avenue, in a gesture of "ups and downs", allows for efficient travel between the public transit system and the workplace.
To follow the path of water
Water is inseparable from the topographic context of Montreal. Thus, water creates a path through the densely planted space of the avenue.
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From the groove, it emerges as a large mirror of water that celebrates the opening leading to the interior shopping mall. The crumpling of the water, the reflection, the transformation into fine ice mark the passage of the seasons. It gushes out in a festive way near the Place Ville-Marie esplanade.
To punctuate and pace the users' journey
The promenade, which winds its way through the tree canopy, encourages people to wander. The wide canopy protects, creates a sense of intimacy and tempers the noise of the city.
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The walkway is raised to provide access to the underground; it can be climbed. It multiplies the places of exchange conferring a dynamic character to this part of the avenue which receives a significant flow of pedestrians in transit. The promenade is once again on the ground and takes over the urban space around the Place Ville-Marie esplanade; the outdoor terraces, the generous urban furniture and the water games invite you to stroll.
SALTO as a safe avenue that integrates active transportation and vehicular access to parking
McGill College Avenue is predominantly pedestrian, but it does allow for vehicular and bicycle traffic. A two-way lane is provided on the west side of the avenue. The entrance to the Eaton Centre parking lot, on the east side of the avenue, is via Maisonneuve Boulevard. These lanes are marked by bollards and are covered with a material that gives them an aesthetic quality.
SALTO as a singular and perennial avenue
McGill College Avenue is intended to be emblematic, unique and long-lasting; an artery whose design resists the harshness of the climate and whose maintenance issues are integrated into the design phase of the project.
SALTO as a promenade that rises above the tree cover
Like the elevated esplanade at Place Ville-Marie, the Salto Promenade rises above the tree canopy to provide a prominent view of the mountain. The unobstructed portion of the avenue, on the edge of Sainte-Catherine Street, allows for an overall view of the avenue and the mountain in the background.
SALTO reveals its true nature in the first phase of development
The first phase of development includes the three essential components of the project: the promenade, the urbanized, mineral and open part to the south of the avenue and the beginning of the vegetated part. Access to the parking lot and a vehicular lane, between de Maisonneuve Boulevard and Cathcart Street, are also planned.
(Unofficial automated translation)
The Salto proposal is the spatial transposition of a clear conceptual gesture: the mountain, transposed in the composition by a vegetal carpet, which meets the river, represented by the presence of a body of water, in the city through a reversal of surfaces.
Nevertheless, the formalization of the concept in plan remained in the state of the diagram. In this respect, the jury does not perceive for the moment the sensitivity of the proposal in relation to the treatment of the ground, the relationship of the project to the vegetation as well as the integration of lighting or seasonal experience. Similarly, the technical and constructive dimension of the "salto" is not addressed. The jury expects these dimensions to be developed in the delivery stage.
One of these important issues refers to the feasibility criterion that will be used in the subsequent stages of the competition and that must be met.
The jury also invites the finalist team to better define the proposal according to the evaluation criteria of the first stage.
It is also important to consider the notion of phasing in the outline of the project. The jury members also questioned the treatment of the cross streets.
Conceptual and environmental quality of the plant strategy
The proposal contains two spaces that refer to living natural environments, namely the vegetated surface (representing the mountain, the forest) and the water plane (representing the river). The composition of these two spaces is not very detailed at this time.
Moreover, the jury has doubts about the vegetated treatment of the structure when it turns over.
Landscape and heritage quality
The sculptural dimension of this proposal is one of its greatest qualities. The "salto" can be considered as a folly that enriches the proposal. The finalist team must enhance the proposal's contribution to the landscape and heritage enhancement of the site, as stated in the competition program. The intentions for the enhancement of the historic axis of McGill College Avenue must therefore be clarified.
Functional quality - Use
The proposal is poorly developed in terms of its uses and public animation. The southern part of the design concept is large and open. How do the designers envision the use or animation of this portion of the project?
Functional Quality - Mobility
The plan appears to show the presence of a vehicular traffic lane along the entire length of McGill College Avenue (west side). The jury would like to recall that the competition program calls for the design of a pedestrian space. The presence of the automobile must be limited to the vehicular access to the Eaton Centre parking lot and the fire access corridor.
In terms of pedestrian circulation, the "salto", which is one of the attractions of the proposal, is located at the same place as the entrance to the Eaton Centre parking lot, which represents a potential conflict of use.
The jury also invites the finalist team to consider the safety issue that would result from pedestrian access to the roof of the "salto" structure.
Designers should also consider the treatment of intersections with cross streets.
Following the compliance analysis and the City's decision, Provencher Roy's performance in collaboration with Vlan and ARUP was deemed non-compliant under section 1.4 of the by-law, which specifies that in the event of a cost overrun stated by a finalist, the performance will be automatically rejected. The cost overrun stated by the finalist was 20.2% above the construction budget identified in the competition rules
(From jury report)
(Unofficial automated translation)
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- Presentation Panel
- Site Plan