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September 18, 2009

Design Montreal’s Bus Shelters

The Mayor of Montreal Gérald Tremblay announced a design competition for a new bus shelter on September 15th, including the advertising poster frame, bench and solar power system, to be used by the Société de transport de Montréal (STM). “This initiative is further proof of our administration’s desire to make such competitions a widespread practice, to promote innovation and excellence in architecture and design, and to continue positioning Montreal as a UNESCO City of Design,” Mayor Tremblay said.

The Mayor issued five shukôs – or creative challenges – to the design community during the Pecha Kucha Night for Elected Officials on September 30, 2008. The competitions associated with each shukô aim to provide tangible encouragement to creativity in design and architecture in Montreal, and to open up access to public design commissions to greater numbers of practitioners. An initial design competition to develop movable street furniture elements for use by festivals was launched on June 8, 2009.

“Bus shelters are important components of service quality for the STM,” said Michel Labrecque, Chairman of the Board of the STM. “They allow transit users to be shielded from the elements, to sit down, and to consult the system map as well as bus schedules. Besides being accessible, they must be safe and easy to maintain. The STM is convinced that creators will be up to the challenge of submitting designs for modern, functional bus shelters that reflect the importance that Montreal ascribes to public transportation as well as to good design.”

For his part, André Lavallée, Montreal Executive Committee member responsible for the Transportation Plan, Urban Planning, Heritage and Design, noted: “Bus shelters are a significant part of the urban landscape. With the design competition, we can call upon the creativity of Montréal designers to find solutions that are innovative, sustainable and respectful of the urban diversity that is a hallmark of our city.”

The bus shelter is one of the STM’s front-line passenger-hosting structures. Many shelters are more than 30 years old. The range of different models and the age of some of these structures have made it increasingly difficult to manage and maintain the inventory of bus shelters. Over the next four years, the STM plans to have 400 new shelters built for installation all across its network, gradually replacing the current models and responding to new needs.
There will be two stages to the competition. The first, which involves no compensation, is the pre-selection stage: designers are invited to submit an application for analysis and evaluation by a jury, after which five competitors will be chosen to enter the second stage of the competition. For the second stage, which is funded, the five competitors will be asked to develop original concepts. After this stage, the jury will analyze the competitors’ proposals and choose a winner, whose concept will then be developed and manufactured by a firm selected following a public call for tenders. That firm will be required to hire the services of the winning designer for prototyping.

The jury members are:
“¢ Denise Vaillancourt, Executive Director, Planning, Marketing and Communications, STM
“¢ Marie Turcotte, adapted transport users’ representative, Board of Directors, STM
“¢ Benoà®t Gendron, Director, Planning and Development, STM
“¢ François Gagné, Team Lead, Planning and Urban Design Workshop, Urban Planning Division, Service de la mise en valeur du territoire et du patrimoine, Ville de Montréal
“¢ Michel Dallaire, industrial designer, President, Michel Dallaire Designers Inc.
“¢ Maurice Cloutier, ADIQ, environmental designer, Director, School of Design, UQà€M
“¢ Gilles Saucier, architect, Saucier + Perrotte Architectes

Registration is mandatory. Each entrant must submit the form that is included with the competition regulations, available at www.realisonsmontreal.com, along with a $50 registration fee.

Only entries from those who have obtained the competition documents from the Design Montréal office will be considered. The deadline for submitting entries is noon on September 30, 2009. The Design Montréal office is located at:

303 rue Notre-Dame Est
6e étage
Montréal, Québec
H2Y 3Y8

Office hours are 8:30am to noon and 1:00pm to 4:30pm.

Prospective entrants who have questions relative to the competition must submit them to the competition’s professional advisor, André Desrosiers, by e-mail at desrosiers.andre@uqam.ca by September 24, 2009. The design competition is being administered by the Design Montréal office of the Ville de Montréal with the co-operation of the STM.

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