The winning project in the urban design competition for the Smith Promenade, Griffintown, was unveiled on April 26, 2012. Among the four concepts developed by the finalist firms, the jury chose "Granny Smith," the project proposed by NIP Paysage. Two Adjunct Professors in the School were part of the winning team led by NIP Paysage: Sinisha Brdar contributed to architecture and urban design, and Conor Sampson (B.Arch. 1996) to lighting. The jury also awarded a special mention to The Commons Inc. for the originality of its concept, its innovative and poetic approach, and its sensitivity towards the character of the site. Adjunct Professor Talia Dorsey is Founding Principal of The Commons Inc.
The objective of the national urban design competition was to define a new public realm for the rapidly changing Griffintown district of Montreal (in the vicinity of Peel and Wellington). The jury tasked with choosing the finalist proposals included a representative of Griffintown residents as well as professionals in architecture and design: Georges Adamczyk, jury Chair, full professor, School of Architecture, Université de Montréal; Georges Baird, architect, urban designer, professor at John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto; Eric Bunge, architect, n-architecture, New York; Dominique Côté, landscape architect, representing Sud-Ouest Borough; Wade Eide, architect, AADU, representing the Direction du développement économique et urbain, Ville de Montréal; Bernard Girard, citizen, representing Griffintown residents; Peter Soland, architect, landscape architect, urban designer, Urban Soland.
“I’d like to congratulate the winning team of this urban design competition and underscore the outstanding quality of their project,” said Richard Deschamps, Ville de Montréal Executive Committee Vice-Chair responsible for Economic Development and Large Projects. “Thanks to their rich concept and innovative ideas, Promenade Smith will become one of the mainstays of Griffintown’s urban renewal, providing Montrealers with an inspiring, inviting public space that will be a beacon in the years to come, throughout the district and all over Montréal.”
For her part, Helen Fotopulos, the Executive Committee Member responsible for Culture, Heritage, Design and the Status of Women, said: “Montréal harnesses the talent of design professionals to envision projects that not only enhance quality of life for its citizens, but also ensure the sustainability of its neighbourhoods. I salute the winning firm for the exceptional quality of the project they presented. Their plan for the redevelopment meshes perfectly with our vision of sustainable development taking centre stage here in Montréal, UNESCO City of Design.”
And Véronique Fournier, City Councillor for the Saint-Henri–Petite-Bourgogne–Pointe Saint-Charles district and Chair of the Sud-Ouest borough’s Urban Planning Advisory Committee, added: “The winners have come up with a stimulating, creative solution, and we congratulate them for it. Their landscaping-focused approach wonderfully embodies the key principles of sustainability while demonstrating respect for the historical character of the site. Citizens will be able to enjoy a true gathering place, to be developed with a strong emphasis on greening. This living space will go a long way toward enhancing the structure of an area of Griffintown that sorely needs it.”
For full information, including project details and the competition program, please see the Montreal Ville UNESCO de Design webpage.