The project distinguishes itself by its ability to implement, in the Montréal area, projects that constitute a focus for further development. At a time when the creation of public spaces is increasingly important, the firm restored a pier and transformed it into an exceptional riverwalk that was integrated into the existing pedestrian network built up over the past few decades alongside the Saint Lawrence River. As well, the Iberville Passenger Terminal, built in 1967 on the pier, was completely renovated in order to welcome cruise passengers arriving in Montréal with modern facilities and a first impression worthy of Québec’s largest city. Alexandra Pier is now named Grand Quai – Port of Montréal.
Port de Montréal
38 000 m2
2018 - Cruise Terminal / 2021 - Observation Tower
Pageau Morel et associés
Provencher_Roy Design intérieur
Infrastructure maritime : WSP Group
Located on an exceptional site, the pier is one of the principal docks built in the early 20th century, a time when Montréal ranked among the world’s busiest ports for the export of cereal. Measuring 305 metres long by 91 metres wide, the pier originally housed four huge, two-storey hangars.
In 1967, the Iberville terminal, not particularly suited to pedestrian circulation, was reserved for automobile traffic, a situation exacerbated when the hangars were converted into parking lots. Despite significant investments for its maintenance over the past 10 years, this infrastructure, located in the heart of Old Montréal, showed advanced signs of aging and operational obsolescence that was compromising its ability to keep providing the expected services.
Thanks to its complete redesign, the maritime terminal now welcomes passengers at ground level rather than at the Port of Montréal’s Grand Quay’s upper level. This allows the rationalization of vehicular traffic patterns as well as the pedestrianization of spaces. Meanwhile, the landscaping of the ground level enables more fluid movement, thus considerably simplifying vehicle access to the port facilities and the parking spaces still available in the old hangars.
Today, pedestrians are drawn to an inviting landscaped esplanade located on the roof of the port facilities. This path completes the Old Port’s network of public spaces and rebuilds, in admirable fashion, the ties between the city and the Saint Lawrence River.
“From the project’s outset, our aim was to extend the Old Port’s linear park onto the pier. We wanted to create a space that emphasizes the historical richness of the site while also providing a park, a place to relax, and a space that people could make their own,” adds Sonia Gagné, Architect and Partner at Provencher_Roy.
One of the project’s more innovative features is the addition of a nearly 90-metre tower, whose primary function will be to signal the presence of the Port of Montréal’s Grand Quay. Thanks to several viewing platforms, the tower will constitute a unique vantage point for observing the city and river, and enable travellers to discover the city upon arrival in the port. It will also serve as a transitional element connecting the raised esplanade, the maritime terminal, and the new park at the tip of the Port of Montréal’s Grand Quay. The architectural vocabulary developed for the tower and its structure evokes the port’s rich industrial heritage.
Finally, the tower will be equipped with lighting systems that give artists free reign to create luminous works that transform the venue according to the season and with the aim of celebrating particular events. It will thus be a canvas for those visual artists whose medium is light and who in recent years have built a reputation for themselves both locally and around the world.