Mayor Valérie Plante and the City of Montreal announced last year that Ville-Marie will soon have an all-new public square in the Quartier des Spectacles. And as far as we know the project is still supposed to happen, we're just not sure when exactly. In addition to a year-round public space, there will also be a giant new skating rink in downtown Montreal to rival those of Nathan Philips Square and Rockefeller Center.
Previously known as Esplanade Clark, the new square has been renamed Esplanade Tranquille, after la Librairie Tranquille that was located on the corner of the square for years. The name also pays homage to the bookstore owner, Henri Tranquille, "who contributed to the richness of the city's history and culture," according to the City.
Plante also made a point of mentioning the "influence of this man, who played a role in the cultural life of our city," at the unveiling of the new name on November 13, 2019.
The new square is being designed to be "like a backyard," with a chalet, ice rink, and "unique furniture," intended to gather Montrealers in a "fun and friendly" environment that will allow the celebration of the city's culture, both past and present.
This development is another step in the new direction of the city centre and the Ville-Marie area, spearheaded by Plante and Projet Montréal.
In the city's press release about the naming of the square, they explain that La Librairie Tranquille was "a place of avant-garde, daring and cultural effervescence," which saw the creation of the Refus Global Manifesto.
The space, which has been under construction for some time now, will soon find a new life, along with its new name.
"This new toponym is also a nod to the Quiet Revolution, which showed its first expressions on this site," the city explains.
The city also opened up the design of the new space to a contest, in an effort to find a new team to design the public space. Twenty-three eligible proposals were analyzed and then the city narrowed it down to four finalists.
Those four finalists are Ædifica, ALTO Design and Dikini, PARA-SOL, and Precious Plastic MTL and they've been challenged to create furniture that is removable and adaptable to all four seasons.
PARA-SOL designs clean and bright buildings and structures in Quebec and abroad. ALTO Design is part of Projet Paysage, the minds behind the new Science Complex at U de M, and they've teamed up with Dikini, a design studio that creates "objects that contribute to the common good."
Les finalistes du concours de design pour l'esplanade Clark, maintenant appelée esplanade Tranquille, ont été dévoi… https://t.co/uc0Z6B6HQ0— Design Montréal (@Design Montréal) 1573665163.0
These four finalists will present their performance to the jury on January 16, 2020, and the winning project will be announced in February 2020.
Then, work will begin to have the project completed, if all goes as planned, by next summer, according to the CTV, who also notes that the project is slated to cost around $74 million.
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