Place des Pionniers architectural contest, finalists selected
The selection jury for the Place des Pionniers reconstruction project’s multidisciplinary architectural contest announced its four finalists on February 23. According to a press release issued by the city on the same date, the jury made its decision after a series of private virtual meetings held on February 15 and 16.
Conforming with the rules of the contest, the jury recommended that the city choose the following four teams of professionals as finalists: ATELIER BIG CITY + GRG architects with Pageau Morel et associés, QDI and Vlan Paysages; GLA Architecture + Design Urbain, A4 Architecture + Design, Rousseau Lefebvre, and CIMA+; IN SITU + DMA with CIVILITI and EXP; and PELLETIER DE FONTENAY + ARCHITECTURE49 + WSP + CIMA+. Co-presided by Emmanuelle Lapointe and François Arsenault, the selection jury is composed of members Pierre Corriveau, Yvon Dallaire, Claude Fugère, Noelle Graton-Tétreault, and Michel Hudon. The jury analyzed 19 candidates of excellent quality.
The finalists were chosen based on their ability to meet the contest’s criteria, which prioritized the quality of candidacies and the development potential of their approach going into the second phase of the contest. The jury emphasized that the finalists mostly separated themselves from the competition with their understanding of the project’s mandate and the developmental potential of each concept.
Congratulating the contest’s finalists and thanking the jury for their work, Commission des arts, de la culture, des lettres, et du patrimoine President and L’Orée-du-Parc district councillor Isabelle N. Miron said she’s thrilled with how the project has progressed, adding that the it is a major development for the city’s future. “The Place des Pionniers project, grouping municipal services and the new Lucy Faris Library, will respond to the growing needs of users in the Aylmer sector,” Miron said. “This building will certainly become a highlight and source of pride for Gatineau.” She also invited the finalists to prepare presentations to officially qualify as laureates of the contest.
For the architectural contest’s next phase, in April, the four finalists will publicize their respective architectural drawings for the population to vote on their favourite candidate. While the jury will have the final call on which team wins the contest, it should take into account the results of the voting process in its decision.
Impressed by how many project submissions the jury received, Aylmer district councillor Audrey Bureau noted that the level of interest from developers is an encouraging sign that the project is very promising. She added that the city has a budget dedicated to implementing urban art around the new library’s construction site.
Noting how everything has gone according to plan so far, unlike certain planned municipal projects, Deschênes district councillor Mike Duggan said he’s pleased with how the project has progressed and looks forward to what the final phase of the contest will bring. “It’s going to be great,” Duggan said. “It’s a great thing for Aylmer to look forward to.”
Expecting Place des Pionniers to be emptied in the summer, its demolition should take place in the fall. The city will be announcing more information on the contest next week, a city spokesperson told the Bulletin.