OCPM Suggests Enhancements to 2-22 Sainte-Catherine Project
Montréal, August 10, 2009 – The Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) makes public today the report on the consultation on the “2-22 Sainte-Catherine” project, a building that the developer, the Société de développement Angus, plans to erect at the entrance to the Quartier des spectacles, on a vacant lot of approximately 900 square metres, on the southeast corner of Sainte-Catherine Street and Saint-Laurent Boulevard. The eight-storey building would be designed as a sand entertainment. It would house Montréal’s Vitrine culturelle, geared to the promotion of cultural and artistic activities in Greater Montreal.
The commission received 23 opinions (verbally or in writing), half coming from the artistic and cultural community, and the other half from residents and groups working for the social and economic development of the Faubourg Saint-Laurent, or for environmental and heritage protection. Almost 300 people attended the various public sessions.
The project was well received by a large majority of participants, and strongly supported by the cultural community, primarily because it would help to redefine the Saint-Laurent–Sainte-Catherine area and confirm its cultural vocation. The commission supports the “beacon” concept and its very modern inspiration. Some of the participants expressed reservations concerning the proposed architecture, the building’s integration into the surrounding urban landscape, and its contribution to the area’s heritage character. The commission recommends that the project be implemented with certain enhancements.
In keeping with its vocation, the 2-22 should become a highly frequented area in a vibrant environment where cultural businesses prosper. Along with many of the participants, the commission believes that there should be ongoing attractions in the atrium, promoting sustained pedestrian traffic and a feeling of security. The commission recommends that the developer draw up, in cooperation with local organizations, an open, inclusive and welcoming access policy for the atrium.
In terms of architecture and urban integration, the commission finds the plans for the angle of the building located on the corner of Saint-Laurent Boulevard and Sainte-Catherine Street insufficiently thought-out, and believes that a more sustained link should be created, at human eye-level, with the other store fronts further south. The treatment of the facade on Saint-Dominique should also better reflect its status as the first visual reference point for visitors arriving from the Quartier Latin. The blind wall, visible from Saint-Laurent and René Lévesque Boulevards, should be used as a cultural backdrop highlighting the building’s “beacon” vocation.
Lastly, the public consultation on the 2-22 Sainte-Catherine East project allowed civil society representatives to stress the necessity of more in-depth urban planning for the area incorporating Clark, Saint-Dominique and Sherbrooke Streets and René-Lévesque Boulevard, and along the two major axes, Saint-Laurent and Sainte-Catherine, to ensure the best possible links with the Quartier Latin and Quartier des spectacles. The commission believes that the revitalization of this emblematic area of Montréal should be carried out according to guiding principles and specific criteria to structure the redevelopment while ensuring heritage protection and enhancement. It recommends that the City finalize relevant instruments to that end.
Hard copies of the report are available at the offices of the OCPM. The report is also posted on the Office Web site, at www.ocpm.qc.ca. All information pertaining to the consultation is available at the OCPM offices, the Direction du greffe de la Ville de Montréal, 275 Notre-Dame Street East, and the Ville-Marie borough office, 888 de Maisonneuve Boulevard East, 5th floor. The documentation is also available on the Office Web site, at www.ocpm.qc.ca. For information, please call 514 872-8510.
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