Canadian Architect

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Web Exclusive: Le Virage

Le Virage is an urban laboratory - an experimental landscape where art, architecture, and urban design collide.

December 19, 2016
by Jonathan Cha

Photo by Mathieu Deshayes.

Photo by Mathieu Deshayes.

Located in Outremont on the site of an old railway station used by the Canadian Pacific Railway, Le Virage is an urban laboratory – an experimental landscape where art, architecture, and urban design collide.

Born out of a design competition won by five students of the Faculty of Environmental Studies at the Université de Montréal, the project consists of seven railway containers remodelled to serve specific functions, including a coffee joint and a bar.

Photo by Mathieu Deshayes.

Photo by Mathieu Deshayes.

Le Laboratoire des récits du soi mobile in association with the non-profit organization MTL ville en movement sponsored in the project in order to enliven the area, which will eventually serve as the location of the University’s Outremont campus. With its various shipping containers, Le Virage aims to provide innovative urban design solutions, while engaging the public to experience and interact with the dynamic space.

The design of the project was conceived by André-Anne Caron-Boisvert, Cloë Cousineau, Simone Raffaele Dalla Rosa, Florence Goulet-Pelletier, and Nelly Chriswell-Manana. Partners of the project included the Ville de Montréal, Gouvernement du Québec and the Université de Montréal. Numerous sponsors contributed, including Provencher_Roy, Lumenpulse Group, and more.


By creating, manufacturing and experimenting stories, performances, projects and urban practices, the purpose of Le Virage is to bring together researchers, professors, students, professionals and citizens in an interdisciplinary quest to confront the city and its environment.

To learn more about Le Virage, please click here.