MASS TRANSIT | Le Métro de Montréal :: »Le Plus Sexy du Monde«

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PLAY ME

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Correspondance de couleur des moyens de transport de Montréal, Lesli222, Oeuvre personnelle

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Lignes du métro de Montréal destinée au modèle géographique, Leslie222, Oeuvre personnelle

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Station Berri-Université du Québec à Montréal | Architectes : Papineau, Gérin-Lajoie & Leblanc

Station Bonaventure | Architecte : Victor Prus

Station Peel | Architectes : Papineau, Gérin-Lajoie & Leblanc

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MONTRÉAL MÉTRO – GOOGLE MAPS MASHUP (anglais)

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Can a subway be sexy?

With today’s starchitects, we take it for granted that the answer should be an unqualified Yes!

But Montréal had the first subway with true élan. This marvel of the future was initially built as part of Montréal’s city-of-the-future infrastructure to support expo 67.

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The Métro went under the St. Lawrence to a major station on Isle Ste-Hélène (now named after Montréal’s infamous mayor, Jean Drapeau) where les expoistes could switch to le Minirail et l’Expo Express:

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From its conception, the manifesto for the Métro — a marvel of civic infrastructure — included public art. This was a marriage of art and architecture rarely seen on such a large scale:

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The stations were individually designed by a leading star of the mid-sixties’ Canadian architectural firmament.

essential:

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DISAPPEARING TRAIN: time lapse by Ziad Chatila

Le Métro was also conceived as an integral method of delivering bodies (read: “consumers”) to that other part of Montréal’s mid-60s’ vision of the future: Montréal souterrain, the underground city:

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Galerie marchande à l’intérieur de la Place Ville Marie, 1962
Photographie: SITQ | © Courtoisie de SITQ -Place Ville Marie, © Héritage Montréal

Compare what was happening in urban planning and design in Montréal in the mid-60s to what was happening to the inner city neighbourhoods of most American cities during the same era.

As for the Métro, the mid-60s’ elegance of the original stations eventually gave way to the brutalism of the ’70s as the system constantly expanded (the ’76 Olympics were a good excuse to add several more kilometres to the network).

Unlike Toronto, Montréal has continuously expanded its original 3 lines. They’re still at it! They are now, finally, planning to extend the original Expo (Yellow) Line further south into Longueuil.

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Inspired by Paris’s smooth rubber-tired system, Montréal’s Métro went on to influence systems in Lyon, Marseille, and Montevideo, plus a downscale version with funky graphics (and pictograms for every station) in Mexico City:

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There may be equally fascinating metros around the world (Washington’s comes quickly to mind …

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… as does San Francisco’s 1970s’ response to Montréal: Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). That’s sexy!)

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Sexy logo: “Bay Area,” on a magnetic strip ticket. The future, early ’70s version.

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Mais le Métro de Montréal, c’est le meilleur, et encore, le plus sexy.

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Marc Dufour is a fan.

LINES EVERYWHERE. Here’s what Dufour envisions in his city of the future:

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Le futur n’était-il pas magnifique?

C’était l’année de l’amour, c’était l’année de l’Expo,” disait la chanson. Dans ces temps là, l’optimisme était de rigueur; n’allait-t’on pas mettre des hommes sur la lune en moins de deux ans? Tous les espoirs était permis, et les projets de lignes de Métro n’échappaient pas à la règle.

The future: wasn’t it wonderful?

It was the year of love, it was the year of Expo,” said the song. Back then, optimism was in the air; weren’t we going to put men on the moon in a couple of years? Everything was possible, and building the Métro was no exception.

Marc Dufour

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Definitely not sexy:

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designKULTUR | MASS TRANSIT | Le Métro de Montréal :: »Le Plus Sexy du Monde« ::: Redux

designKULTUR | MASS TRANSIT | SkyTrain Vancouver :: 25 Years :: 2010.12.11

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