The Grande Place: intervention 2

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Brandon Koby Stern, Simon Lussier, Andrew Lockhart

‘Nature’ in its pure form no longer exists. Few territories remain un-influenced by human action. Even the notion of charting, mapping and recording land implies a degree of such influence.

Emerging from this understanding our interest lies in the generation of natural processes within the highly constructed and curated spaces that we inhabit. Our goal is to stimulate the relationship between flora and fauna through the migration of birds and insects travelling along the Atlantic flyway, specifically through Montreal. Being a natural science museum Space for Life will be a significant intervention, amongst many other migratory stops throughout the city. These spaces will act as appropriate stopover locations for species to re-energize and to cope with weather, and predation in unfamiliar environments.

Made of a series of natural zones isolated from human contact, the design will incorporate enclosed environments that will, after the initial planting phase, undergo natural processes of growth and decay without curation. Elevated tubular pathways will penetrate these enclaves allowing for an interpretive experience. These pathways will facilitate connectivity between the four institutions, as well as, generate moments of maximum potential that will serve as plazas and observation decks instilling programmatic function into the primarily circulatory system.

Just as Space for Life will nurture many species of plants, insects and birds, the intervention will unite the natural science museum campus while generating an engaging visitor experience capable of managing the 1.7 million visitors the Olympic park receives annually. The project emphasizes an appreciation of natural processes, demonstrating how we can live in ways that are compatible with wildlife in wild places.

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