See plans for library building May 17
---Place des pionniers architectural contest, finalist projects presented to public
Taking another step forward in the multidisciplinary architectural contest for the reconstruction of Place des Pionniers, Gatineau recently announced that the four finalist projects up for consideration will soon be publicly presented. According to a press release issued by the city on April 26, people will have the opportunity to participate in an online presentation of the projects where they can learn about the finalists’ respective submissions and indicate which project is their favourite – Coup de coeur.
The event is scheduled to take place on May 17 at 7 pm, and people are invited to join via the city’s website. The press release added that the results of the vote for the favourite project will be sent to the contest’s selection jury, before they make their decision in private. The selection jury, which will consist of four architects, one engineer, one librarian, and one resident, will evaluate the projects based on their ability to meet the contest’s selection criteria. A technical committee, comprised of five experts from the municipal sector and one from the private sector, will be responsible for evaluating the projects from a technical perspective, and present its observations to the selection jury.
The city has also established a citizen committee for the project, which will hold the same responsibility as the technical committee during the contest. The citizen committee includes five Aylmer residents - including one between the ages of 12 and 17, one parent of a child aged 17 and under, two people aged between 18 and 64, and one person aged 65 and up – and two people aged 18 and over living in either Gatineau, Hull, Buckingham, or Masson-Angers.
The press release stated that, for the first time in the history of architectural contests in the province, the finalists previously met with the citizen committee to discuss the issues and characteristics of the area where the project is taking place in an effort to help the participating teams learn more about exactly what the project means for Aylmer. Details about the citizen committee, the technical committee and the selection jury - notably their respective members - are available on the city website. In May, the city plans to announce the winning project and voting on the selection jury’s recommendation during a special municipal council meeting.
Delighted with how the project is progressing, Deschênes district councillor Mike Duggan called it a prime example of a very elaborate process where every step is being conducted properly. “It looks like we’ve got a solid path towards a successful project, and now we can get the public involved,” Duggan said. “After a year of confinement, this is finally something we can look forward to,” he added. “I see this as a light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel kind of project.”
Seeing such a long-awaited and important project come closer to completion, Lucerne district councillor Gilles Chagnon, said the announcement is great news for the community. “It’s super positive,” Chagnon said. “It means that the timeline is on schedule and that things are starting off well.”
Plateau district councillor Maude Marquis-Bissonnette said the architectural contest is a great show of the city dedicating itself to engage residents in important municipal discussions, adding that the same process was used for the construction of the recently built Donalda-Charron Library in her district. “Gatineau was the first city in Québec to use a process like this,” Marquis-Bissonnette said. “I think it’s really great that we have this way of doing things, that we make room for citizens, because Place des Pionniers has the capacity to be a strongly important building for Aylmer.”
Congratulating the finalists on their success so far, Commission des arts, de la culture, des lettres, et du patrimoine President and L’Orée-du-Parc district councillor Isabelle N. Miron, said the public consultation will be an important opportunity for people to get a clear outlook on what the project will look like and to have a say on what the final product will be. “I invite people to participate to this activity in high numbers and indicate their [favourite project],” Miron said in the press release. “Through this process, the city’s hopes for a project of architectural and environmental excellence in response to the area’s residential and urban dynamic.”
The architectural contest is mandated under the Ordre des architects du Québec.