A disaffected industrial area adjacent to downtown Montreal was recycled in the 1990s to create Multimedia City, a commercial incubator for high-technology companies and dotcom ventures. Combining recycled industrial buildings with infill construction and a refurbished public domain, Multimedia City is an important employment hub for Montreal’s new digital economy.
Located on the edge of Multimedia City, the Duke-Wellington site is one of the last major development parcels in the sector. The site presents challenges such as the integration of historic structures, the presence of an elevated expressway and a dramatic change in scale across the site. The project explores scenarios for a residential development that will create a dynamic mix with the sector’s office buildings.
Multimedia City is located below the plateau containing Montreal’s high-rise core. This peripheral location is exploited in the Duke-Wellington scheme to create a residential ensemble grouped around an interior courtyard. Conceived as foreground structures against the backdrop of the skyline, two twenty story residential towers create symbolic gateways to both downtown Montreal and Multimedia City. The interface with the freeway is assured by a four storey winter garden located at the base of the towers. Stacked maisonettes align with a series of heritage structures to close the courtyard on the inside of the block.
Throughout the project, ground floors are occupied by commercial and community uses. Sidewalks are widened and fitted with new street furniture and more than 75 new trees are planted.