Agora Maximus by LAAB Collective and Signature Design Communication

The Agora Maximus is a pedestrianization project inspired by Montreal’s Quartier Latin, designed by the LAAB collective in collaboration with Signature Design Communication.

Photo credit: Raphael Thibodeau

The project proposes a durable, integrated, and heavily planted modular installation, in front of the St-Sulpice Library in 2022, then along the whole  Saint-Denis Street in 2023 and 2024.

Immersive and intriguing, the installation combines two landmarks of Latin culture: the Agora, a place for civic meetings, and the Circus Maximus, a linear amphitheater for live entertainment.

In this way, the concept pays homage to festivals, circuses, and experimental arts by transforming the urban space into a linear stage, with striking pixelated pop-up seating arrangements placed at intervals along the street.

Photo credit: Raphael Thibodeau

The modular platforms offer accessible open spaces for pedestrians to socialize and take in the scenery. Their stepped profile evokes the main staircases of the cultural institutions of the Quartier Latin. Informal and playful, they take the form of colorful mounds of “pixels” filled with greenery, enhancing the tree coverage of St-Denis Street. The pixels’ colorful swatches use GREY to integrate into heritage surroundings, WHITE to evoke modernity, and ORANGE to deliver a playful nod to roadwork visual codes.

The various platforms are linked by a continuous street-art graphic intervention made of pixel patterns along the whole length of the street, providing an ever-changing visual journey for pedestrians.

A paired strategy of visual/graphic dressing of key commercial windows along the street enhances the immersive stroll and urban experience between de Maisonneuve and Sherbrooke streets.

Photo credit: Raphael Thibodeau

Technical sheet

Project Name: Agora Maximus

Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Client: SDC Quartier Latin and the Partenariat du Quartier des spectacles de Montréal

Architects/Designers: LAAB Collective in collaboration with Signature design communication

Design team: Michel Lauzon, Vincent Clarizio, Maëva Lonni, Frédérick Gagliolo, Adam Ghadi-Delgado, Margot Greenbaum.

Project type: Urban design, Tactical urbanism, Temporary & Events installations, Industrial design, Street furniture

Technical description: An assembly of pixels of 5 different heights in painted steel and wood. The pixels can be used as platforms, seats or planters.

Challenges: A modular system, easy to assemble, install, dismantle for summer use over 3 seasons. 

Installation: summer 2022 (2023 and 2024)

Photographer: Raphaël Thibodeau

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