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Press kit - Press release - Peel Entrance – Mount Royal Park - Lemay+CHA (Lemay)

Peel Entrance – Mount Royal Park

Montreal, Canada

Lemay+CHA (Lemay)

Union between history and ecology

Montreal, Canada, 2011-01-17 - Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1874, Mount-Royal Park has over five million visitors per year. Prior to its restoration, the Peel sector was desolate; a crumbling wall, a stairway in ruins, and muddy pathways; the link into the park was tenuous. Nonetheless, its natural and picturesque character were still informed by the poetics of Olmsted's work.

In keeping with Olmsted's tradition, the mountain's own characteristics were tapped to regenerate and redesign the sector. Tying the project into the geological, hydrological and vegetative richness of the mountain firmly re-attached the Peel sector to the city through the careful management of the existing natural and cultural elements.

Traffic management
The structuring elements for circulation respect both Olmsted's original layout and the desire lines imposed from years of use. These included redefining the two majestic gateways at the Peel and Redpath entrances, the remediation of a section of Olmsted Road, the reconstruction of the Serpentine path, three new staired pathways and numerous landings in wood, granite pavers or granite slabs.

Water Management
The complex eco-hydrological water management strategy controls the significant runoff through the site while developing ecosystems which encourage biodiversity. An upstream regulator limits flows for the entire site to 50 litres/sec, four wetlands encourage vegetative and wildlife diversity, swales and gutters intercept runoff, and catchment structures carry the water to the outfalls. The whole is linked together to form a coherent and autonomous hydrological system.

Forest Management
Raising the ecological value of the woods was the aim of the forest management practice. This included the regeneration of native shrubs, enhancing the avifaunal and micromamellian habitats, creating animal corridors, and insuring the safety of park visitors. This required considerable felling, pruning and planting to control invasive species and to open views towards the Saint Lawrence River and Olmstedian tableaus.

Artist intervention
This work commemorates John Lennon's famous bed-in with Yoko Ono in 1969 protesting the Viet-Nam war. At the base of a majestic rock outcropping, 180 rectangular limestone slabs are set flush with the ground carving out a retreat beside the upper curve of the Serpentine path. “Give Peace a Chance”, written and recorded during his Montreal stay, is carved in relief on 40 slabs in 40 languages, offering the public a universal and humanist vision to mirror Montreals cultural diversity.

Client: City of Montreal
Team project: Suzanne Rochon, Marie-Claude Séguin, Guillaume Vanderveken, Vanessa Parent, Isabelle Giasson, Michèle Gauthier
Collaborators: Genivar, Denis Marcil ing. forestier, Linda Covit - artiste.
Photograph: Marc Cramer
Cost: 4,2M$

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