HONOR AWARD: Parc de la Chute-Montmorency Experience Chute

Wood Champion

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Québec City, QC

More than 800,000 people visit Parc de la Chute-Montmorency each year to enjoy the 83 m waterfall and the scenic surroundings. Wood was chosen for aesthetic and structural reasons for this walkway, and for its connection with the history of the site. The laminations and tectonics of the boardwalks are inspired not only by the iconography of log piles that accumulated at the base of the falls during the log drives, but also by the stacks that characterized the sawmill landscape of the last century. Yellow pine was used for its strength on both the horizontal and vertical faces. The cantilevered pergola portion is made with structural Western red cedar.
There are two areas within the project. The Visitor Reception Area, south of the Chemin de fer Charlevoix, aims to redefine the entrance route, reconfigure and introduce landscape into the parking area, develop thematic gardens, interpret and highlight industrial remains, and build a new service pavilion. The Experience Chute Area, north of the railroad tracks, consolidates a universally accessible circuit, allowing visitors to approach the waterfall and complete a four-segment tour around the river basin.
The overall vision of the project is rooted in the historical richness of the place, and differentiated from the cliff top. The upper plateau of the waterfall is still associated with one of the great English estates that overlooked the St. Lawrence in the 19th century through the presence of the Manoir Montmorency. The historical evolution of the foot of the falls is representative of the layers of urbanization specific to the banks of Québec City. From a natural site where the St. Lawrence River came to touch the foot of the cliff – named at the time the Bas-du-Sault – it was gradually modified by human interventions to develop its military, energy, and industrial potential, as well as by the passage of the railroad and a highway on large embankments.
Daoust Lestage Lizotte Stecker
Montréal, QC
Structural Engineer
Tetra Tech
Québec City, QC
General Contractor
Construction Deric
Québec City, QC
Maxime Brouillet
Montréal, QC

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