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Place J.-P. Riopelle - Montreal

District: Quartier International (International Quarter)
Category: Plazas
Tags: Modern Architecture
People: Michel Dallaire, Jean-Paul Riopelle

A key public square whose creation was meant to repair the damage done by the unbridled “modernization” of the city in the 1970s (the Ville-Marie Expressway had been constructed in such a way that it cut off Old Montreal from the rest of the city), Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle was a remarkably ambitious urban renovation project: the adjacent section of the expressway was lowered and covered, the vast parking lot was removed, and the square, like new tissue grafted onto damaged skin, was “surgically” connected with the surrounding urbanscape.

The beatiful square houses a fountain incorporating a scuplture by the Quebec sculptor Jean-Paul Riopelle (whose name the square bears). La Joute (1969), the sculpture-fountain, comes alive at certain times in the evening during the warm season (about 30 mins at a time).

Note the attention to detail: as in the rest of the Quartier International (International Quarter), the award-winning urban furniture was custom-designed by Michel Dallaire.