The project distinguishes itself by its ability to implement, in the Montreal area, projects that constitute a focus for further development. At a time when the creation of public spaces is increasingly important, the firm is restoring a pier and transforming it into an exceptional riverwalk that will be 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, will be completely renovated in order to welcome cruise passengers arriving in Montreal with modern facilities and a first impression worthy of Québec’s largest city. The Alexandra Pier is now named Port of Montreal’s Grand Quay.
Port de Montréal
38 000 m2
Pageau Morel et associés
Provencher_Roy Interior Design
Urban Planning : Provencher_Roy / Maritime infrastructure : WSP Group
Located on an exceptional site, the pier is one of the principal docks built in the early 20th century, a time when Montreal ranked among the world’s busiest ports for the export of cereals. 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. Today, despite significant investments for their maintenance over the past 10 years, these infrastructures, located in the heart of Old Montreal, show advanced signs of aging and operational obsolescence that are compromising their ability to keep providing the services expected of them.
Pedestrians will be drawn to an inviting landscaped esplanade located on the roof of the port facilities. This path will complete the Old Port’s network of public spaces and rebuild, 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. »
Thanks to its complete redesign, the maritime terminal will now welcome passengers at ground level rather than at the pier’s upper level. This will allow the rationalization of vehicular traffic patterns as well as the pedestrianization of spaces. Meanwhile, the landscaping of the ground level will enable more fluid movement, thus considerably simplifying vehicle access to the port facilities and the parking spaces still available in the old hangars.
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 Alexandra Pier. 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 Alexandra Pier. 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.