September 10th, 2015 – Topic Summary

Parable of the Sower

Mark 4:1-20

Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not…

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The consolidation of the MUHC, the RVH and the Montreal Chest Hospital at the Glen has raised several social issues as they vacate from the large hospital properties in downtown Montreal. This lead to an urgency in figuring out what to do with this vast empty space and the need to propose a suitable landscape and property reuse plan. Focusing on the RVH and considering the nature of the pavilions and their location, it’s crucial to ensure an appropriate future for this architectural gem while maintaining a public function for people. The difficulty of this project lies in the fact that the historic building sits in a geographically sensitive area and will require careful preservation. Mount Royal forms an integral part of Montreal’s history and identity. ‘The mountain,’ as Montrealers dearly call it has dominated the city and has conventionally been—and continues to be—an evident geographical landmark. Furthermore, it not only forms a heritage symbol depicting Montreal’s nature, culture and history but it has also been considered an antidote to the ‘urban poison’ that was introduced through industrialization in the early 19th century.

Through this research I aim to observe and analyze the existing relationship of the hospital to the mountain and the city and discover how those relationships can influence the well being of the people in the city today. Given its prime historic location, the reuse of the RVH can spatially fragment and separate the city from the mountain effectively isolating the two. However, this design project aims to define strategies to integrate architectural heritage and urban landscapes within the existing fabric of the city and integrate complex social mechanisms depicted in the existing pavilions, in order to further the connection of the people to the mountain.

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