A Design Challenge to Define the Future Hickson-Dupuis

March 4, 2019
Design Competition

An urban design competition brought volunteers together for the entire last weekend of February. Together, they imagined how a five-hectare former industrial space in Verdun can be redeveloped for housing, small business and community use.

We want to increase and consolidate our knowledge of the territory,” said Verdun Mayor Jean-François Parenteau, who also sits on the executive committee. “By defining a vision with all stakeholders, we will promote innovation and encourage the best practices in planning and sustainable development.”

The industrial space in question sits east of the aquaduct, and west of Duquette Park between Hickson and Dupuis. It’s also next to the municipal works building and the junctions of highways 15 and 20. It used to house glass, tire, auto repair, and used car companies.

Design Process

Volunteers included people from four architectural firms  along with their interns. Local residents and non-profit leaders like Billy Walsh from SDC Wellington and Tania Gonzalez, from CRE-Montreal (Montreal’s regional environment council) also participated.

They spent Friday discussing the site in question. The teams walked around the territory considering what might be needed to make the noisy, busy space inhabitable.

Then the four teams began creating plans for the site. They aimed to present to the public on Sunday afternoon.

Commonalities

All four teams identified the need to use the site as a link between the aqueduct and the St. Lawrence waterfront to the south. They also included a daycare, grocery store and cafés in the future neighbourhood, which currently sits in a food dessert.

All four teams included different types of resident space, retail businesses, community centres, green space and bicycle lanes in their plans.

Each team identified the former Stewart Limited brick buildings as historic buildings to be saved.

Four Visions

Despite those commonalities, their plans for the space looked very different.

Two teams divided the space into distinct units, one with a common green space up the middle.

Another covered the space in modern residential towers with unusual designs, using street space, green roofs and alleys for greenery.

One team recommended slow grass roots development and emphasized specific elements to link the territory in a single design.

Competition viewers got to see how different themes drastically change potential site designs.

Thank you for your participation,” said Mayor Parenteau at the end of the contest. “Every team provided us with solid contributions to our planning process.”

The project appears on the cities “making Montreal” platform. For more information, visit the website. Be sure to look on the French version of the site for information about all 48 projects listed.

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Tracey Arial

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Tracey Arial

Tracey Arial helps Canadians grow with notable nonfiction and urban agriculture.

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