Montreal is Back: It’s time to say goodbye to Place des Nations

Montreal Is Back: it’s time to say goodbye to Place des Nations
Place des Nations 2017 – towards a new iconicity

The heritage view
Place des Nations was built as part of Man and His World, the major development project of the Universal Exhibition of 1967. Located near the Metro station, it hosted foreign dignitaries and thousands of participants in numerous ceremonies and cultural events during the World’s Fair. Intended for temporary use during Expo 67, the square constitutes a symbolic site from this global event which marked the centennial of Canada and Montreal’s introduction to the world. Liberated from the symmetry of the classical amphitheatre, its innovative composition perfectly embodies the modern spirit of Expo 67.

Place des Nations, Heritage Value (Heritage Montreal) Émilie Vézina-Doré and Dinu Bumbaru

The political view
The only reason Place des Nations hasn\’t been torn down already is sentimentality – and that just isn\’t good enough. It may be on Heritage Montreal\’s list of endangered landmarks, but it is architecturally unremarkable. Expo 67 was indeed a watershed moment in Montreal\’s history, but more iconic landmarks stand in memoriam, such as Moshe Safdie\’s Habitat 67 and Buckminster Fuller\’s American pavilion, the geodesic dome that became the Biosphere.

(It\’s time to say goodbye to Place des Nations, The Montreal Gazette – 10-07-2014)

Place des Nations 2017 – the challenge – towards a new iconicity
As the prow of Ile Sainte-Hélène and an important witness of Expo 67 Universal Exhibition, Place des Nations has been neglected for the past 30 years. Recognized as a landmark by Heritage Montreal, yet rejected by the politicians for the 2017 celebrations, Place des Nations faces an important design challenge to reinstate itself as an iconic urban design, landscape and architectural statement to overcome its demolition. A critical look at the urban theatre, its rehabilitation, future utilization and redesign at all scales while strategically addressing political and economic viability will be the main focus of the studio.

Based on a multidisciplinary approach, how could we as landscape architects, urban designers, and architects convince the city of Montreal to preserve, reveal and readapt this remarkable artifact for the grand celebrations of 2017.

This studio is open to students in all departments.

Irregular Schedule:
The studio will consistently meet throughout the term on Thursday and Friday from 2 – 6pm, with Renee Daoust in residence the following dates: January 22, 23, February 6, March 6, March 27, April 10, April 24, and for the final review. She will also be available for desk crits the mornings of her visits to Cambridge. Trip to Montreal will take place February 20 – 22, 2015.