Building Magazine


Winning design chosen to redevelop a beach on the St. Lawrence shore in Montral

A design submitted by the firms Ruccolo + Faubert Architectes & Ni conception architecture de paysage has won the design competition that aims to repurpose a vacant site of Plage de l’Est on the shoreline of the St. Lawrence River, along 94e Avenue in Pointe-aux-Trembles, Montréal, that “[W]ill be a new, shared natural treasure worthy of our status as a UNESCO City of Design,” says Manon Gauthier, Ville de Montréal executive committee member responsible for Culture, Heritage, Design, Space for Life and the Status of Women. “This project is exemplary in that it opens up many more urban planning perspectives and applications for our city, inspired by the recognition and responsibilities that come with that designation.”

“The original idea for this project came about thanks to a grassroots initiative that took shape via the Croissant de l’est’s ‘Quartier 21’ project, which we’ve been advocating for politically since 2010,” said Chantal Rouleau, executive committee member responsible for Water and Water Infrastructure and Mayor of Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles Borough. “Despite all the time that has passed, our citizens’ vision has remained a core concern, and the winning project is further evidence of that. This one-of-a-kind project is going to become the pride of eastern Montréal! I congratulate the winning firms for their inspiring concept.”

The winning proposal
The jury, which included experts as well as citizen representatives, chose a concept that combines universal accessibility, sustainable development, and well-being, all while providing a special connection between visitors and the St. Lawrence River.

The key element of the concept is a boardwalk integrated into the landscape that begins right at the entrance to the beach site and connects various levels with distinct uses: games, universal traffic, the beach and water-based recreation. The boardwalk, with the roof of a service building integrated into its centre, hugs the contours of the site and culminates in an observation point of the river.

In both summer and winter, the building at the centre of the boardwalk will be a venue for meetings, leisure and services. The concept calls for a water play area adjacent to the building. This sizable surface with an area of more than 200 m2 will feature a permanent stream of water flowing onto sculpted stones, and will become a skating rink in the winter months. Farther back on the site are a pair of courts designed for beach volleyball or badminton, and which will be adaptable to new needs that may emerge in years to come.

To maximize the park’s connection with its natural surroundings, planting of shrubs and other greenery is encouraged. The concept also calls for raw, natural and environmentally responsible materials such as wood, stone and concrete.

The borough will now proceed with the plans for the work, to conducted in phases. The budget for the project includes some $3 million for the work, which will begin in 2014 and be completed sometime in 2016. The Plage de l’Est is one of the first actions stemming from the Plan bleu vert adopted by Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles Borough council in May 2013.

To view the competition finalists’ concepts, visit

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