Save Griffintown!


Les Bassins project moving forward by ajkandy
August 21, 2009, 5:02 pm
Filed under: griffintown

When we last heard from the project in May 2009, the OCPM had issued some recommendations based on the public consultation process, including alterations to the design plan. Today, Canada Lands Corporation announced that the City of Montreal intends to vote to approve the revised project next week.

Instead of four open basins (one of which was intended to be a kind of open-air pool, if I recall correctly) only two will be incorporated; these are linked together to form a loop that runs around the easternmost buildings. with three 20-storey towers.

The westernmost basins will be ceded to the City of Montreal, to become two continuous green spaces that run north-south between Ottawa and the public park alongside the Lachine Canal, one of which will be an “aire de jeux” – most likely a soccer/football field – and one partly an artificial reed-bed wetland that processes rainwater (and possibly, sewage?), reducing the new neighborhood’s impact on the existing infrastructure. Overall, the project is aiming for LEED-ND status, with green roofs to manage rainwater and reduce heating/cooling costs.

The percentage of space given over to mixed residential-commercial space seems to have increased; there seems to be a strong tilt towards creating artist workshop spaces and galleries in the area (expanding on Judith Bauer’s idea of a “cultural corridor”). They ask to hold architectural design contests for the proposed buildings; I’m hoping we don’t end up with starchitectural nightmares or East Bloc prison chic, but something that harmonizes well with its red-brick, turn-of-the-century neighbours.

What’s left to do is some consulting with the South-West Borough to ensure that the higher towers don’t have too bad an impact on sunlight and wind at ground level. I have to say that I was initially skeptical, but overall, it looks like a very good project, and an example of how public consultation ought to be done in this city.

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