As you probably already know, Nuns’ Island is famous for its plentiful green spaces and tall buildings. And as you might also already know, Proment Corporation is the propelling force behind most of the high-rise constructions. But did you know that architect Jean-Pierre Bart is the man behind their design?
A long-standing partnership
Jean-Pierre Bart began his career right in his hometown of Quebec City, working with Jacques Lachance on the Les Jardins de Mérici residential complex. His next stop was the six-phase Les Verrières project, a decision that required no further convincing after his first visit to the Les Verrières II construction site. “I was blown away by the concept. The idea of putting buildings in a huge riverside park, which would become the beautiful gardens we have today, really drew me in.” He moved to Montreal and began working on the next phases of the project, Les Verrières III through VI. “At the time, the concept of on-site amenities—like pools, a gym, tennis courts and a projection room—was very innovative. It helps create a sense of community and gives residents a way to get to know each other,” he says.
Jean-Pierre would go on to work on a multitude of different projects: Club Marin I and II, Les Sommets, Vistal, Verre sur Vert, and finally, the Evolo towers in the Pointe-Nord neighbourhood. ‘’We enjoyed the many years working together with Jean-Pierre and appreciated his flexibility and creativity in his unit design’’ says Samuel Gewurz, President of Proment Corporation.
Jean-Pierre’s top picks
His favorite buildings are still Les Sommets and Vistal. “I like the classic feel and the strength that Les Sommets exudes. With Vistal, I wanted to do something more modern, more 21st century. Vistal is also very special to me because it’s the first LEED building that I had a hand in,” he says.
What inspires him
“I visit Vancouver often because I have family there, and I like to check out the condo projects while I’m there. As we all know, Vancouver is a city of condos. I also like Chicago,” he explains. For Jean-Pierre, travelling exposes him to new concepts and trends, providing him with the inspiration he needs to take his creativity to the next level.
Preferred building materials
Jean-Pierre uses a great deal of glass in his high-rise constructions to create the enormous windows with spectacular views that are very appealing to residents. He also frequently works with another popular material, precast concrete. “I like to use this material because you can give it different shapes and colours, and it’s also easy to assemble,” he says. “As a kid, I used to gaze out the windows during class and watch a nearby office building being put up. The walls were made of precast concrete panels. I was absolutely fascinated by how the walls were put together. I never would have guessed that one day I’d be working with a lot of this material myself,” he says.
Since 2009, Proment Corporation has been building and perfecting an urban village in Nuns’ Island’s Pointe Nord neighbourhood. “I had the opportunity to be involved in deciding the exact location of the buildings and designing the streets,” says Jean-Pierre. Designing a neighbourhood is a fairly unique task. It can be likened to putting together all the pieces of a puzzle; each building needs to fit together perfectly with the others. Pointe Nord’s design as a walkable neighbourhood, or Transit Oriented Development (TOD), with shops and mass transit options all easily accessible on foot, is a considerable advantage for the neighbourhood’s residents.
Jean-Pierre worked with firms Lemay Michaud and Forme Studio to design the Evolo towers in Pointe-Nord. “Working in synergy with other architectural firms means that more ideas are thrown around, and it challenges us to take a more critical look at our designs,” he says.
Jean-Pierre Bart’s architectural firm has 7 employees and has been operating for 40 years.