The Wallenberg canopies - Montreal, Canada

Article

The Wallenberg canopies, Urban installation,
Montreal, Canada

Competition: 2021
Client: Chambre de commerce de Montréal
Lead architect: MSDL
Architect: SAME
Placemaking: MASSIVart
Artist: Sébastien Gaudette

This project is based on a multidisciplinary collaboration between architects, placemakers and a Quebec artist, with the aim of democratizing art while enhancing a space with great potential.

Our project involves the creation of a living space that is simultaneously functional, inspiring and innovative, using a modular structure to house a hanging work of art providing functional interfaces. This atypical multi-purpose space will offer the downtown community a unique place to work, play and relax in the heart of Montreal.  

At the crossroads of architecture and art, the intervention aims to energize the heart of the Raoul-Wallenberg city block, located between the Christ Church Cathedral and the KPMG tower, while creating a link between Robert-Bourassa Boulevard and Union Avenue.

In a neighborhood that is undergoing extensive redevelopment and offers few green spaces for office tower occupants, the Wallenberg canopies will provide an urban oasis and a new multifunctional social space for KPMG Tower workers as well as downtown visitors. 

The project focuses on 4 major areas:
1. The Nave, a space that extends Christ Church into the square and will house the suspended artwork.
2. The Agora, a living and social space where people can work, read, rest or meet for special events.
3. The Crosswalk, a rest and socialization area for all users.
4. The Entrance Seat, to attract passers-by and encourage them to discover the space. 

The integration of furniture and seating allows users to be welcomed into a furnished, multifunctional space. These installations offer the opportunity to work, take a break or simply contemplate the space.  

We wanted to integrate a work of art with emblematic potential that would showcase the creativity of a Montreal artist while creating a strong visual identity for Wallenberg canopies. Sébastien Gaudette is an emerging multidisciplinary artist from Quebec. He works with different supports and materials around a key technique: crumpling. As a multidisciplinary artist, he will be able to integrate a suspended work of art into the Nave in a harmonious and lasting way.