Domus

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2017

Berczy Park

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Project: Claude Cormier et Associés Design team: Claude Cormier ( project director and lead designer), Marc Hallé ( project manager), Yannick Roberge, Guillaume Vanderveke­n, Guillaume Paradis

Fountain Design: DEW Inc.

Client: City of Toronto — Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division

day and night, over the summer pedestrian axis of Sainte-Catherine Street East, in the Gay Village of Montreal between St-Hubert Street and Cartier Street. An installati­on that the citizens of Montreal do not want to give up, so much so that the colours have become real places, where people meet for example ‘in the yellow sector’. Placemakin­g can also be done with artistic vision!

If we talk about placemakin­g, there are several interventi­ons by Cormier, where — with a smile — he creates places from scratch, such as Ht0 Beach or Sugar Beach in Toronto, with a few colourful and local gestures transformi­ng not only the area of interventi­on but the perception of the neighbourh­ood itself, a change that in turn translates into increased real-estate value.

Among the works in existing buildings there is the reference to Berczy Park in Toronto, a place much loved by the inhabitant­s of the three adjacent neighbourh­oods. The redesign of the park is centred on the square with a fountain, to which is added a dog zone, perennial garden and trajectori­es to increase the perceived size of the park. In itself nothing transcende­ntal except for the multi-level fountain embellishe­d with statues of dogs. The first reaction of the administra­tion was a curt “no”, dogs would not be allowed and had no artistic value. Cormier, however, has managed to get it right: Berczy Park and its “kitsch fountain” with reproducti­ons of dogs on the model of contempora­ry collectibl­e cards, is one of the most popular squares in the city, with many human and animal users. As is often the case with Cormier’s works, the public liked what was done; the art critics were sceptical.

Among the dogs in the fountain there is also a cat, perhaps the best image to explain the work of Cormier, a joyful voice outside the choir of landscape architectu­re where the ‘fun factor’ determines the true sustainabi­lity of urban interventi­ons.

Find the odd one out...

Christiane Bürklein, critic, blogger and online editor, is the author of various publicatio­ns on communicat­ion, photograph­y, and sustainabl­e architectu­re, and a consultant for internatio­nal artists and architects.

 ??  ?? The redesign of the small park at the intersecti­on of three districts in Toronto focuses on the creation of a square with a fountain. The element of fun, verging on kitsch, is added by a set of life- size figures of dogs spurting water out of their mouths
The redesign of the small park at the intersecti­on of three districts in Toronto focuses on the creation of a square with a fountain. The element of fun, verging on kitsch, is added by a set of life- size figures of dogs spurting water out of their mouths
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 ??  ?? This page: the Breakwater Park revitalisa­tion project in Kingston, Ontario, completed in 2018, included a makeover of the shore along Lake Ontario, equipped for bathing and leisure activities Opposite page: the installati­on for the Cornerston­e Festival of Gardens in the Napa Valley has brought a sick tree back to life. Its branches are covered with 75,000 skyblue Christmas balls with a unique camouflage effect
This page: the Breakwater Park revitalisa­tion project in Kingston, Ontario, completed in 2018, included a makeover of the shore along Lake Ontario, equipped for bathing and leisure activities Opposite page: the installati­on for the Cornerston­e Festival of Gardens in the Napa Valley has brought a sick tree back to life. Its branches are covered with 75,000 skyblue Christmas balls with a unique camouflage effect

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