Montreal's Design Solution to Prioritizing Pedestrians During Construction
Source: NextCity on October 3, 2016 | Jeff Kinney
While the city of Montreal embarks on a massive, four-year project to replace aging pipes and boost pedestrian- and bike-safety on one of its main commercial streets, enormous inflatable arches will keep pedestrians away from construction, but still drawn to local businesses. CTV News Montreal reports that while business corridors often struggle during lengthy construction projects, the city is hoping the arches will maintain interest in St. Catherine Street and provide a place for pedestrians to gather in the absence of traffic.
“I think the businesses will thrive in that time rather than struggle and suffer to survive,” said designer Tudor Radulescu. “The fact that it’s visually strong, it will attract people.” The arches, designed by Montreal firm Kanva Architecture, are designed to create the impression of walking through a vaulted corridor, like the interior of a church, but the arches are webbed, not solid, maintaining the visibility of the street. Each inflatable, called an “imago,” will reach about as high as the buildings’ third floor and stretch the entire length of a block.