Ruccolo + Faubert Architectes (RFA) & Ni conception architecture de paysage have won the landscape architecture competition for the construction of a beach at the eastern tip of the island of Montréal. The results of the design competition for the Plage de l’Est, held by the Borough of Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles, were announced in a press release on January 20, 2014. McGill graduate Tania Delage (M.Arch. 2009), who works at RFA, acted as project manager and presenter for the design team.
The objective of the two-stage competition was to find a winning project that would repurpose a vacant site on the shoreline of the St. Lawrence River and reappropriate the waterfront spaces for citizens’ use. The purpose was to bring out innovative approaches to the harmonious integration of the development concepts proposed with the landscape in which they will be integrated. The jury, which included experts as well as citizen representatives, chose a concept that combines universal accessibility, sustainable development, and well-being, all while providing a special connection between visitors and the St. Lawrence River. The key element of the concept is a boardwalk integrated into the landscape that begins right at the entrance to the beach site and connects various levels with distinct uses: games, universal traffic, the beach and water-based recreation. The boardwalk, with the roof of a service building integrated into its centre, hugs the contours of the site and culminates in an observation point with an unparalleled view of the river. In both summer and winter, the building at the centre of the boardwalk will be a venue par excellence for meetings, leisure and services. The concept calls for a water play area adjacent to the building. This sizable surface with an area of more than 200 m2 will feature a permanent stream of water flowing onto sculpted stones, and will become a skating rink in the winter months. Farther back on the site are a pair of courts designed for beach volleyball or badminton, and which will be adaptable to new needs that may emerge in years to come.
The winning scheme can be viewed here.