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Sunken Garden and Rink Complexe


Situated at the western edge of Montreal's highrise development, the project is a sunken garden containing two restaurants and a bar. A 4-foot drop from the sidewalk to the garden level creates a separation from the traffic and neighbouring high-rises. Although the site was zoned for high-density development, the designers challenged these regulations and succeeded in convincing city planning officials that open space is a viable alternative to high-rises and parking lots. By pushing a parking structure underground, the project frees up the ground plane for urban activities. This same parking structure is designed to anticipation and support future development which may eventually occupy the site. Because the project is surrounded by high rises, it is typically seen from above; in this way, the rooftop and landscape become the most important facade. In the summer, the garden fills with people and tables spilling out of the indoor spaces. In the winter, the landscape becomes an ice rink surrounding the glazed structure. The sunken garden is specifically designed for a city with two seasons. It is public space that is usable throughout the year – an important but often ignored consideration in Canadian cities.

Design : Tom Yu, Mike Kaltsas, Patrick Evans (MEDIUM)


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