Saidye-Bronfman Park Pavilion – an example of sustainable architecture

The architectural firm, Cardin Julien, recently unveiled the new Saidye-Bronfman Park Pavilion, part of a major revitalization project for the Côte-des-Neiges district, known as the Triangle sector, in Montreal. The pavilion is set in a new 8,600-square-meter park that includes a botanical collection composed exclusively of a variety of trees, recreation areas, and a public square with animated water fountains. The new park is named after Saidye Bronfman (1897-1995), a Canadian philanthropist.

“This area where the park was, was very industrialized with car dealerships and warehouses ten years ago,” says Jeanne Cayer- Desrosiers, the architect from Cardin Julien Inc., working on the project. “This area wasn’t residentially oriented and when these industrial businesses moved away, the city wanted to revitalize the area,” adds Cayer- Desrosiers.

The pavilion helps to strengthen the identity link between the park and the surrounding neighbourhood by providing gathering spaces for the people who live there. The form of the building acts as a landmark and its architecture and the park are in a constant dialogue.

According to Cayer-Desrosiers the main attraction of the slope which serves different functions. For example, it hides the car dealership in proximity and during the winter it allows for snow activities. What is more, it contributes to one of the sustainability methods employed in the design of the pavilion. Another important thing about the slope is that it hides the nearby car dealership. Moreover, it allows for summer activities too and leads to the green roof of the building.

Saidye-Bronfman Park Pavilion
© TARMAC – Damien Ligiardi

Once an entirely mineralized area, the new park is now composed of many vegetated zones. “There is a pathway with different species of trees accompanied by information boards explaining the diversity there,” adds Cayer-Desrosiers.  Thanks to the vegetation and the pavilion’s green roof, the island of coolness created provides a beneficial effect in this densely occupied area.

Besides reducing the eat islands, the pavilion has employed other techniques. For example, in addition to the other functions of the slope, it contributes to enacting a Canadian well. This is a principle of transporting outside air through pipes underground to cool down in the summer and it works as a natural air conditioning.

The building aims to preserve and strengthen the community’s sense of belonging by providing a gathering place in the heart of this key location in the Côte-des-Neiges district. The new geometry and the human scale of the landscaping give a prominent place to pedestrians, cyclists, and people with reduced mobility.

Yet there was a challenge that Cayer-Desrosiers and the other people working on the project had to tackle on the way. The team was working on the project at the same time the construction of the park was happening. “There were people working on the entire sewage system, so we practically were working with something that didn’t exist yet,” elaborates further Cayer-Desrosiers. “We had the plan, but we didn’t have it in reality. And I think the most difficult thing was to work with something that is just not there yet,” continues Cayer-Desrosiers.