Le Vieux Port (Old Port) sits on reclaimed land between the St. Lawrence River and the historic old quarter of Montreal. The port and Old Montreal together have had great significance in terms of the economic, political, and cultural history of Canada.
No longer functioning as a critical link between the North American rail system and the sea lanes to Europe, the Old Port of Montreal fell into a thirty year process of decline. This was marked by the demolition of its monumental grain elevators and industrial structures and the introduction of vast, scale-less, and under-programmed open spaces. In effect, the structures, which had for so long symbolized the vibrancy and strength of the city, had succumbed to a process that found its symbolic expression in environmental apathy and civic neglect.
The aim of the master plan is to develop a series of strategies that evoke, reveal, and reinterpret the extraordinary history of the site by contemporary means. Rather than recreating lost form, the plan seeks to provide an architectural framework capable of supporting diverse and changing programs over time.