Square des Frères-Charon is located at the crossroads of two historic streets in one of the oldest sectors of Montreal. It is part of a network of public spaces organized along the axis of McGill Street, a historic thoroughfare that links the Old Port to the contemporary city center.
Built as a response to the urban revitalisation of a disaffected industrial sector, Square des Frères-Charon is an entirely new public amenity in a sector of the city that is more than 250 years old. The project is the result of a rich inter-disciplinary collaboration and an innovative consultation process. The new square provides identity, civic pride, and generous outdoor areas for all-season public use.
Square des Frères-Charon offers the experience of a contemporary urban landscape inspired by the original vocation of the site, a prairie wetland where the Charon brothers built a windmill in the seventeenth century. The square is an experience in contrast and connection where the prairie wetland, surrounded by the city, takes on new dimensions and raises public awareness of the history and geography of the site.
The project uses a simple, refined, and minimalist architectural language to create a dialogue between circular and cylindrical forms including a garden of wild grasses, the vestiges of the windmill and a park pavilion in the form of a belvedere-folly. Complementing these gestures, the lighting scheme proposes a chromatic garden that alludes to the changing seasons.