The Lachine Canal’s rich industrial heritage is celebrated thanks to the addition of a new park and a unique bio-retention basin. Drawing on the site’s history, the landscape architects used contemporary vocabulary to create play areas and a leisurely promenade while proposing an environmentally sound solution for Montréal’s run-off waters. One of Montréal’s most salient features, the Lachine Canal, is to this date a strong reminder of the city’s illustrious past. First opened in 1825 and expanded twice during the 19th Century, the Canal harbored numerous industries with direct access to basins and docks, where barges would load and unload raw materials and finished goods. Gradually abandoned during the course of the 20th Century, the Canal was definitely closed to navigation in the sixties.
▼公园休闲区域，the recreation area
The surrounding area, vacant yet strategically located, was partly taken over by some enterprises needing large tracts of land. In 1978, at a time when the Lachine Canal’s heritage value was little understood, Canada Post built a major sorting center on a site formerly occupied by 4 basins, backfilled between 1965 and 1970. The facility shut down in 2003 and the land became property of the Canada Lands Corporation. With the involvement of the City of Montréal and citizens’ groups, a master plan was eventually developed and the site slated for private residential buildings, subsidized housing and park areas. All new public space was planned within the limits of the old basins.
▼公园中的娱乐设施，recreational facilities in the park
▼从公园向对岸望去，look across the park
▼公园一角，a corner of the park
Civiliti was mandated to design a new family-oriented park, now called Bassin-à-gravier, and a Bio-retention Basin, both to be located where Basin No 3 had been. The mandate also included the prolongation of Basin Street as well as the realignment and architectural treatment of Park Canada’s bicycle path along the Lachine Canal. Basin Street, 10 pedestrian walkways and a bio-retention basin were first built as part of the public domain. Metal grates, drainage channels and other components were designed in such a way as to include subtle graphic clues showing the flow of water towards the bio-retention basin. The basin—the most important of its kind to have been built in Montréal’s dense urban context—absorbs Basin Street’s runoff waters for their on-site treatment and percolation back to the water table. Wood decks and walkways that appear to float above the basin’s semi-aquatic plants allow pedestrians to reach the canal from Basin Street.
▼公园人行道的空隙间种有许多植物，there are many plants growing in the Spaces between the walkways in the park
▼木甲板和人行道似乎漂浮在港池的半水生植物之上，行人可以从港池街到达运河，Wood decks and walkways that appear to float above the basin’s semi-aquatic plants allow pedestrians to reach the canal from Basin Street
▼低矮的折线元素让人想起19世纪用来在运河上航行的旧木驳船， landscaped area where low curved elements recall the old wooden barges that used to sail the canal in the 19th Century
Across the street, the northern part of the former Basin No 3 was transformed into a playground and landscaped area where low curved elements recall the old wooden barges that used to sail the canal in the 19th Century. Varying in height and used for a number of activities, these seem to emerge from the ground as if they were floating. The basin’s former walls, buried but still intact, are signaled through alignments of large limestone slabs and a Corten-steel retaining structure. The limestone slabs run along both the bio-retention basin and the playground area. The vocabulary used in the Parc du Bassin-à-Gravier recalls the site’s maritime past, formally and in terms of materials. Decks, sails, railings, captain’s cabin and other elements were transformed into a unique set of playground furniture. Three materials were used throughout the project: wood, for horizontal and oblique surfaces; concrete, for larger volumes with slanted walls; and steel, for oblique surfaces.
▼港池以前的墙壁虽然被埋在了地下，但仍然完好无损，并通过大型石灰岩板和耐候钢挡土墙的整齐排列而突显出来，the basin’s former walls, buried but still intact, are signaled through alignments of large limestone slabs and a Corten-steel retaining structure