Frédéric-Back Park

Montréal, Québec 

Photo Credit: Lemay

 

CASE STUDY

Research by: Samantha Miller

Edited by: Nicole Brekelmans 

Case study compiled in 2019

 

Project: Frédéric-Back Park

Type of Urban Strategy: Ecological Infrastructure, Industrial Landscapes

Type of ProjectLand Remediation / Public Park

LocationMontréal, Québec

Construction Completed:  2017

Designer: Lemay 

 

Named after Québécois artist, director, and tree planter, Frédéric-Back, this project is now one of Montréal’s largest parks and green spaces. Frédéric-Back dedicated his career to the preservation of nature, so it was suitable that this land remediation and public park redevelopment project be named after him. The site of Frédéric-Back Park is on an area of land known as the Saint-Michel Environmental Complex, which used to include a calcium quarry and massive landfill. Although numerous plans to remediate the contaminated site have been attempted in the past, this is one of the most significant environmental rehabilitation projects Montréal has ever completed. The park, designed by Lemay, includes the engineering and design of 250 biogas-capturing wells, which transport biogas underground through pipes to a pumping station to be converted to energy. The biogas wells are housed in spheres, which allow them to move with the ground, and give off a luminous glow at night. The park features many programmable spaces, public art, lookouts, and urban furniture. The biogas wells are an attraction in themselves, as they glow amongst the landscape at night, and look otherworldly. This ecological infrastructure project highlights the ability to use smart engineering and design to create systems that help rehabilitate our environment, but also function aesthetically and add to the identity of a place.