In late October, a media launch introduced Symphonia POP, a project for the development of a residential tower with modular architecture, to be located on the southern tip of Île-des-Sœurs. Jean-François Parenteau, mayor of the Verdun borough, Kevin Robinson, general manager of real estate developer Développements Symphonia, and Roch Cayouette, partner-architect at Provencher_Roy, were in attendance to unveil the key elements of the project.
Symphonia POP by Provencher_Roy
A panorama of the city and the river
Symphonia POP will be established on a much-coveted lot along the Saint Lawrence River, close to Lac des Battures and the Île-des-Soeurs golf course. The site includes over 300 metres (1,000 feet) of the riverbank. The concept is rooted in two distinct vistas: The north side of the site looks out onto downtown Montreal, which, along with Mount Royal, forms an urban landscape. Meanwhile, the southwest portion of the site faces the river, the Montérégie and the Lachine Rapids, thus offering a sweeping natural landscape.
The project will be built next to the existing Symphonia tower, which marked phase I of this residential complex. The southwest side replicates the curve of the river, while the larger side, facing the city core, forms an orthogonal volume. The architecture is sober, with an undifferentiated materiality, and employs blue-green glass on all sides of the building. As well, the project includes a sumptuous main lobby positioned west of the tower.
Two perspectives necessitating two complementary architectures
“In order to maintain an architectural coherence between the new building and the existing one, we decided to extend certain distinctive elements of the phase I architecture while redefining others so as to give the overall complex a fresh momentum. Thus, we decided to keep the river/city duality present in the visual scheme of phase I by introducing a concept that would specifically address these two entities,” explains Roch Cayouette, partner-architect at Provencher_Roy.
With respect to the side facing the river, the presence in phase I of an offset lobby persuaded the architects to create symmetry, by establishing a central axis for the space, in order to determine the location and architectural composition for phase II. This made it possible to combine the architecture of both phases into a coherent whole, such that the buildings appear as twin towers when viewed from Serge-Garant St., while also reproducing a curved face that is slightly redesigned through the use of transparent and offset glazing panels.
As for the side looking toward the city, it is as though Montreal’s downtown skyline has been tilted onto a vertical plane and connected to the curved face. The resulting volumes are similar to those of phase I, yet with a distinctive, cubic architecture. The jutting out, in a random pattern, of the superimposed cubes, called ‘pops,’ evokes the outline of the city’s high-rises. As with the iconic Habitat 67, it is possible to configure two or three cubes over one or two floors to create a distinctive, modular apartment unit that responds to buyer needs.
A landscape perimeter between the built and the recreational environments
On the ground, the landscape offers the same duality. Right next to the shoreline, the river plays an important role in defining the site’s landscape architecture. So as to echo the curvature of the lobby and its resonance in the shape of the pool, a new, imaginary shoreline is juxtaposed onto the site. This new line serves to distinguish a “land” portion, where the towers are located, and a “river” portion, with recreational elements like the heated outdoor pool and the bike path. Thus, two landscapes exist side by side: one, a lush environment containing the built elements, and the other, fluvial, comprised in its entirety of an undulating figure.
The 32-storey tower will boast 240 housing units with one to three rooms each, a floor area of 55 to 280 square metres (600 to 3,000 square feet), and 2.74 to 3.35 meters (nine to eleven feet) ceilings. All the spaces will have spectacular fenestration, positioned so as to maximize the views and the amount of natural light coming in. Common spaces will include an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a hot tub and sauna, an ultramodern gym, a hall for private receptions and a lounge.
Construction of the tower is slated to begin in summer 2018 and is expected to be completed by fall 2020, after work on the new Champlain Bridge, the new Turcot Interchange and the Réseau électrique métropolitain (REM) rail system has been finished. In the meantime, the project presentation centre, located on Île-des-Sœurs, is open to visitors.