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clock tower beach

In the heart of the Montreal’s Old Port, you can lay on the beach while watching the shipping traffic go by. Clock Tower Beach, named after the famous clock tower that marks the Point de l’Horloge on the St. Lawrence River, is a key landmark for the city’s water traffic. But up until now, it went unnoticed as a public space. “The site was unknown to visitors and Montrealers,” says Cormier, pointing to the site’s former unfortunate programming as the root of this problem. “The upper part [of Clock Tower wharf ] has always been occupied by a parking lot. As for the lower part, it never had any particular function except as a small, obsolete park and loading docks for nautical tourist activity.” Cormier’s friendly, beautiful beach design changes all of that. The new beach, located at the point and along the wharf’s edge, combines relaxation and recreation, offering up bright blueand-white beach umbrellas and restaurants, restrooms, and storage space in revamped steel shipping containers. A large concrete stair terrace mitigates the elevation drop between the upper lot and the lower beach, and creates another great spot for people who want to relax without getting sandy. And even though it’s not completely open just yet, the project has been a huge success. “In March, during an unusually warm week, the beach was literally invaded, and almost instantly pictures were published on Facebook and Flickr,” Cormier says. “Everyone in Montreal talks about it.”

Montreal, Canada

Firm / Claude Cormier + Associés Principal Architects / Claude Cormier project type / public place images / provided by claude cormier + Associés

Project Credits Societe du Vieux Port de Montreal




Architecture: Volume 1  
Architecture: Volume 1  

A Special Edition From Design Bureau 2012