Article by Ruth Coman YUL Condominium & YUL Sales Office, by NIPpaysage, Montreal (Quebec), Canada Citizens have a year-round interest in landscape and nature. This issue raises the question of how a design can give a proper answer to their enthusiasm. The surrounding natural landscape has to fulfill everyday needs like recreation and relaxation throughout the whole year for city dwellers. Residential and private ‘green spaces’, especially, have to be versatile and must not become boring. Recognizing this issue, NIPpaysage landscape architects chose to create a four-season design for the future inhabitants of YUL Condominium.
YUL Condominium & YUL Sales Office
YUL provides the ultimate in luxurious urban living in Montreal. Between stylish condominiums, limited-edition penthouses, and unique townhouses, the interior courtyard of unusually large proportions is the heart of the project. It is a unique space, dedicated to its inhabitants. The main inspiration for the design of the courtyard was the sculptural aspect of winter landscapes. The magical air was transposed through different compositional frames during the whole year.The choice of plants also reflects the main theme of whiteness, related to Montreal. In this way the general aim of the designers to reveal the true character of the environments upon which they intervene can be seen in this project. NIPpaysage’s work combines a powerful conceptual basis, an approach sensitive to sustainability issues, and a strong attention to construction and detailing.
Working With Mounds to Create a Strong Spatial Experience
To implement the four-season landscape design in an effective way, NIPpaysage chose to work with mounds. These earthworks are the main elements in the project’s structure. The source of the material for the mounds is the excavation of the building foundation and is thus cost-effective. Following the fact that in nature very little is symmetrical, NIPpaysage created mounds of irregular shape. The sinuous shapes and well-planned slopes will support plants and will avoid erosion problems.The earthworks configuration has multiple positive aspects that have to be discussed. The use of mounds is an answer for practical questions as well as aesthetic purposes. Emphasizing the different particular areas and creating subtle and natural-looking privacy barriers, the mounds will be defining the paths, plazas and private spaces. For the latter it will be blocking out unwanted views. The resulting niches will be enjoyable in all seasons. Paying attention to the drainage and to the different microclimates of the mounds, NIPpaysage chose plants for the tops which are tolerant of drier condition since the water drains more quickly there. Furthermore, the chosen plants emphasize the mounds’ forms. Their different heights, textures, and forms are also highlighted by the different seasons. More details on this will be given in the following paragraphs which describe how the landscape changes according to the different seasons.
4-Season Landscape Design in YUL Condominium
Designing a year-round courtyard ensures that the inhabitants of YUL will be surrounded by different landscapes and spark interest through all four seasons. For the most important aspect of such design – choosing the appropriate plants for that region – NIPpaysage chose the combination of blooming perennials, grasses, and birches. During the first part of the year – in the springtime – the mounds will be grass-covered combined with white blooming perennials.
YUL Sales Office
Until YUL Condominium is built, people have the chance to admire and visit the YUL sales office, also designed by NIPpaysage. Drawing on the inspiration of airport runways, the space includes pedestrian circulation and a parking lot. While the prominent white lines on a black background will attract you to the core – the sales office – of the site, the broad blue strips will remind you of the blue sky and flying experiences.In Montreal, summers are warm and humid and temperatures in excess of 30°C are common. Subsequently, the summer months are dominated by water elements and bright cold shadows. The fountains and the birch canopy provide a refreshing space for hot summer days, by reminding the viewer, through the birch’s white bark, of magical winter moments. The transition between summer and winter is marked by different blooming perennials. In the cold months, due to the icy weather in Montreal that brings snow, the water feature transforms into an ice rink that provides animation into the entire courtyard. In this way a four-season landscape design will provide the inhabitants of YUL Condominium with different environmental atmospheres in the semi-public plazas whilst maintaining the necessary level of privacy. Behind the dynamic of seasonal change, the whiteness of an inspirational winter landscape remains the permanent element. What do you think of the YUL Condominium & YUL Sales Office? Let us know in the comments below! Go to comments
Full Project Credits For The YUL Condominium & YUL Sales Office
Project: YUL Condominium & YUL Sales Office Location: Montreal (Quebec), Canada Designers: NIPpaysage Planning: 2013 – 2014 Client: Kheng Ly Team: Mathieu Casavant, Michel Langevin, Mélanie Mignault, Josée Labelle, Emilie, Bertrand-Villemure, Benjamin Deshaies, Sylvain Lenoir, Mélanie Pelchat, Johanna Ballhaus, Catherine Blain, Claude Cournoyer Collaboration: MSDL Architectes, SYGMA Group architecture Get Social With NIPpaysage: Website: www.nippaysage.ca/en Twitter: www.twitter.com/NIPpaysage Facebook: www.facebook.com/nippaysage Recommended Reading:
- Becoming an Urban Planner: A Guide to Careers in Planning and Urban Design by Michael Bayer
- Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design With Nature by Douglas Farrs
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