The architectural competition Griffintown Interrupted seeks to revive Montreal’s oldest industrial district through a collective design experiment. Griffintown Interrupted is an open platform for discourse and debate which uses the competition model to create a space for agency, debate and transformation. Architects and designers from 10 countries have come forward to propose innovative, temporary structures for one of Montreal’s most hotly debated neighborhoods by tackling five focal points: Basin Edge, Signal House, Police Station, Horse Palace, Mobile Home.
A public vote on the shortlisted proposals is currently underway, closing on Friday, December 10, 2010. Join the discussion by voting for and commenting on your favorite proposals for Griffintown or follow the initiative on Twitter and Facebook.
Below are some examples from a total of 16 shortlisted entries:
These urban stables, dating from the era when thousands of horses filled the Griffintown streets, are still in operation: the horses spend their nights at the Palace, and their days pulling carriages through Old Montreal. Efforts are in place to preserve this pastoral moment in the middle of the city; the Horse Palace Foundation has plans to make this site of a Griffintown Museum, with the stables remaining in operation alongsides the galleries.
In 1865, a small and nondescript house appears on the city records. But contemporary investigations of the property reveal it was in fact built some 40 years earlier. This discrepancy in the records has led historians to believe that the house was in fact pried from its foundations and moved south to make way for the extension of a city street. This early act of architectural mobility has inspired Griffintown Interrupted as an experiment in architetcural indeterminancy.
This abandonned tower once housed the CN train operations for the adjacent bridge over the Lachine Canal. The control room cantilevers over the bicycle path on the Canal's shore, while graffiti covers this now-embiematic Griffintown structure. The building is set to be repurposed as a bicycle hub for the Devimco redevelopment.
Slated for relocation by Montreal's strategic planners, this is the former district police station which dates from 1875. Today it houses a theater company. Tales of ghost stories surround the building where Mary Gallagher's murderer was arrested (an annual ghostwatch still convenes here).
This southern tip of Griffintown, the Peel Basin, borders on the planned Devimco redevelopment scheme. While bicycle paths and greenery follow the canal's edge along this site, the basin itself remains uninhabited. Nestled beneath the Bonaventure Expressway and the CN rail line, and looking out onto the rows of silos on the south shore of the canal, this site is wholly postindustrial in character.
See the complete list of shortlisted entries here, and don't forget to vote and leave a comment.
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