The Esplanade of Montréal’s Place des Arts—a gathering place for the city’s arts and culture community—was expanded and renovated in 2018, in order to return it to its vocation as a public space. As major renovation work was necessary, Place des Arts directors seized the opportunity to completely overhaul the Esplanade, a site now at the very heart of the city’s festivals and artistic happenings—a use well beyond its original vocation.
Société de la Place des Arts
Construction management : CIMA +
Public Lighting - Gilles Arpin
Fountain engineer - François Ménard
Because water has become one of the site’s most popular features, two pools were built on the Esplanade. As well, special consideration was given to ensuring the necessary infrastructure was in place to provide lighting experts and set designers with infinite creative possibilities. And numerous trees and vegetation were integrated into the site as part of the redesign project.
As a first phase, the new design called for levelling the Esplanade’s main area and transforming it essentially into a giant urban stage, more versatile, accessible and inviting than a multilevel site.
The project was rolled out in several stages, with work being halted during the summer so as not to interfere with the cultural activities planned around the site.
On the technical front, an anchoring system discreetly integrated into the ground slabs—the brainchild of industrial designer Michel Dallaire—facilitates the assembly of tents, shelters and other structures intended as venues for shows and activities of a transient nature. Channels for cabling and water supply stations are included as well, which simplify assembly and dismantling operations.