Promenade Samuel-De Champlain by Consortium Daoust Lestage inc. + Williams Asselin Ackaoui + Option aménagement, in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. The Quebec City government thought long and hard about the perfect gift to give to the city’s citizens to mark its 400th anniversary. After much debate, the majority of those involved decided a new park would make the perfect gift. This new park, The Promenade Samuel-De Champlain, became the first step in the city’s mandate to restore the St. Lawrence River by 2008. It was built along one of the sector’s degraded riverbanks, as an example of the city’s involvement in their mandate. Located in the borough of Sainte-Foy-Sillery-Cap-Rouge, between the dock and the coast of Cageux Sillery, the promenade is about 2.5 kilometers long, with 200,000 square meters ffollowing the course of the river.
Promenade Samuel-De Champlain
One of the main project goals was to revitalize this part of the river, and to restore shoreline vegetation that had disappeared, – which designers accomplished by building a promenade and boardwalk that would be sensitive to this fragile vegetation and allow it to grow without being disturbed, while still allowing park visitors to enjoy its beauty.Celebrating History The designers also wanted to make the park be reminiscent of the city’s history. They included elements of wood and steel throughout the park to remind visitors of the city’s history as a home to numerous lumber and shipbuilding yards in the 19th century. The Visitor Centre Visitors are immediately aware of this history, and of the designers’ intent to take in every aspect of the park as soon as they enter. The Quai des Cageux Visitor Centre marks the beginning of the pedestrian and bicycle lane, and is located at the western entry. Stunning Panoramic Views Here, a wooden observation tower that invites them to climb 25 meters above the river in order to take in the stunning panoramic views that it offers greets the visitors. This steel and wood combination can also be found in the custom benches designed by Consortium Daoust Lestage inc. that are located strategically throughout the park to offer visitors and locals to relax with the best possible vantage points. Home to 100,000 Plants To address environmental issues designers created an intricate planting plan to mimic the once natural ecology of the site. The park is now home to over 100,000 plants(many of which are native to the region), and of those plants, 1,500 are trees. The inclusion of these plants was made possible by looking at the existing neighboring highway and adjusting its geometry to allow for the addition of large planting and gathering areas. These areas include perennials, shrubs, and trees, that were only introduced after a careful study looking at the visual, environmental, and safety elements. What Can People do There? Visitors to the park are encouraged to cycle, rollerblade, walk, run, play soccer, kayak, and picnic. They are also encouraged to enjoy the many examples of public art located along the promenade, which also serve as an interpretive walk to allow visitors to discover the landscape. A note from one of the designers One of the designers of the park, Williams Asselin Ackaoui, described the main goal of the project as, “giving access to riverfront,” and went on to say that, “The project resulted in spectacular views, continuous access to the water, recreational and green spaces, urban marshes, sculpture gardens, pedestrian paths and boardwalks.” Not Just a Pretty Space The park is more than a pretty place to visit though, from the beginning, Quebec City had a grander goal for the park. Developers were able to create a space that has now become an example of the importance of recognizing economic and environmental issues associated with urban environments, and hope that it will continue to function as such for years to come. An Award Winning High Quality Green Space In addition, this project also shows the importance of providing residents with high-quality green spaces and the effect these can have on overall quality of life. Since its opening in 2008, the project has won numerous awards, including a 2009 “Award of Excellence from the Quebec Order of Architects,” a 2009 “National Honour Award from the Canadian Society of Landscape Architecture (CSLA).” Another award in 2009 was the “International Architectural Award, The Chicago Athenaeum / Europe.” and the awards kepts on coming… Later, in 2010 the project won a laureate award for “The Governor General’s Medals in Architecture” and in 2011 a “Certificate of Excellence, Mission Design,” for the landscape architecture, urban design and furniture design. These awards stand testament to outstanding design and execution of Promenade Samuel-De Champlain. Full Project Credits: Project Name: Promenade Samuel-De Champlain Designer: Consortium Daoust Lestage + Williams Asselin Ackaoui + Option aménagement Location: Quebec City, Quebec Budget: $47 Million Size: 2,5 km long Date of Construction: June 12, 2006 – June 24, 2008 Client: Commission de la Capitale Nationale du Québec Awards: 2009 Award of Excellence from the Quebec Order of Architects, 2009 National Honour Award from the Canadian Society of Landscape Architecture (CSLA), 2009 International Architectural Award, The Chicago Athenaeum / Europe, 2010 The Governor General’s Medals in Architecture and the 2011 Certificate of Excellence, Mission Design, for the landscape architecture, urban design and furniture design. Show on Google Maps Recommended Reading:
- Urban Design by Alex Krieger
- The Urban Design Handbook: Techniques and Working Methods (Second Edition) by Urban Design Associates
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