Finalist proposal for the design competition «Sainte-Cath Works – To minimize the impact of the public works on Sainte-Catherine Street West».
For Sainte-Catherine Street’s reconstruction, GRAND RUE proposes a spatial and narrative strategy based on four fundamental principles.
The first issue is related to the nuisance caused by such a huge construction project. During execution of this type work, the construction site fence becomes the most important interface. The boundary between the construction site and the public space offers an ideal support to explain the history of the street, the changes that will come and to facilitate the general orientation through the site.
The second challenge of this major project concerns the value and perception of transforming such an important commercial street. Grand Rue presents the construction project as a positive act. In addition to clearly identifying the areas under construction and communicating the sequence of work, its installations presents the complexity of the intervention. From a graphical perspective, a clear and simple identity brings a visual coherence. Its basic element is a sequence of volume edges that combine to create an abstract pattern suggesting architectural fragments at various scales. Traced white on a vibrating orange background, this motif is part of road signage. The resulting simple graphical system allows permutations that brings an ever changing overall composition. As for the scenographic experience, it starts at the three main entrances of the site with a scaled model that indicates in real time the position of access to the site, the areas where the work is active and those where it is completed. Further on, a life-size pilot section gives a real glimpse of the future street.
The most important constraint of this installation is the flexibility of configuration required for the workflow. To help solve this challenge, the installation consists of a family of modular and freestanding scenographic elements. Most often, these are made of common construction products (concrete barriers, construction fences, scaffoldings, platforms and mats) which facilitates their transport and installation with known methods and tools. The system is complemented by custom-made elements offering exquisite design pieces (ballast mats, corner rails, benches, footbridges, canvases and printed flags). The various scaled drawings planes suggest different examples of configurations allowed by this flexible system.
The diversity and multiplicity of people involved to varying degrees into this structuring project calls for openness, kindness and personal involvement. The transformation of Square Phillips into a special construction office embodies this desire. On the workers’ side, construction trailers trussed on a light steel frame protect the statue of Edward VII. The trailers are dressed with a printed membrane printed with the pattern used for the site fences.
GRAND RUE talks about the new grandeur of Sainte-Catherine Street. We would like to help you walk through this historical moment with happiness and enthusiasm.