The Réseau Express Métropolitain

Île-des-Soeurs Station
Photo credit: Adrien Williams

The consortium of Lemay, Bisson Fortin, and Perkins&Will have introduced their design of four stations of the inaugural Rive-Sud line of the Réseau express métropolitain (REM).

With a scale not seen since the inception of the city’s first Metro line in 1966, the REM is set to become one of the longest automated light metro systems globally upon its full completion. This expansion will add 67 kilometers to Montreal’s already impressive network, solidifying its status as a world-class transportation system.

A glance at the consortium’s design for four out of the five REM stations, covering a distance of over 15km, offers a preview of the complete 26-station REM system. The versatile and modular design offers a look at its now-established stations which represent an activation of Montreal’s future in sustainable public transportation.

Du Quartier Station
Photo credit: Adrien Williams

“What’s exciting about the REM stations’ unique designs lies in how they enable a city to efficiently generate sustainable urban infrastructure,” said Alexis Légaré, architect and design leader at Lemay. “Furthermore, the enthusiastic and engaged reception from the communities they serve holds promise for a more viable, purposeful, and resilient future in public transportation in Montreal.”

The consortium’s earlier vision has transformed into a living experience of unexpected joys. The Rive-Sud line introduces a fresh arrangement to Montreal’s urban landscape, inviting passengers to discover new perspectives within accessible, well-lit, open, and eco-conscious stations, landscapes, and entrance plazas. Furthermore, every station carries a distinctive local identity, embodying transparency, movement, and natural materials through a compelling fusion of architectural, landscape, interior, and urban design.

Du Quartier Station
Photo credit: Adrien Williams

Interated within their surrounding urban, industrial, and natural landscapes, every REM station is created using a standardized set of adaptable modular components, ensuring optimal functionality and adaptability. These stations are meticulously designed to seamlessly integrate with their distinct geographic challenges and environmental contexts, whether traversing highways to offer panoramic views or descending underground. All these considerations are undertaken to achieve synchronicity with the city’s transportation systems.

“With the REM, we’ve redefined the mass transit experience. Our contribution goes far beyond architecture: We’ve integrated key design elements that will guide passengers to a more fluid and more connected future transit experience,” said Christian Bisson, lead partner at Bisson Fortin. “REM stations are not just stops, they are starting points for urban development, and incubators of possibilities that will transform options for urban mobility in extraordinary ways.”

Île-des-Soeurs Station
Photo credit: Adrien Williams

The characteristics of the stations remain the same: Their open forms are filled with natural light and prominently feature wooden elements. Strong vertical and horizontal lines instill a rhythmic quality in each space, creating a sense of movement. Transparent glass elements contribute to expansive interior and exterior views, adding an enhanced sense of security.

Incorporating eco-friendly approaches like rainwater management and vegetation to mitigate heat island effects, the landscape architecture of the stations is designed to support the biodiversity at each site. Safeguarding and enhancing green corridors, every public plaza, multi-use path, and station entrance establishes connections with neighboring communities, seamlessly integrating with the surroundings. This approach not only aligns with the well-being of the environment but also contributes to the health and vitality of the life surrounding these areas.

Brossard Station
Photo credit: Adrien Williams

“This is a project that builds on the rich tradition of iconic infrastructural projects that have defined Montreal’s past, while offering a new vision towards a more sustainable future,” said Duff Balmer, design principal at Perkins&Will. “We are deeply honoured to have been part of this exciting project.”


Technical Sheet

Architecture: Lemay, Bisson Fortin, Perkins&Will Consortium
Landscape architecture: Lemay
Mechanical, electrical and structural engineering: SNC-Lavalin / Stantec
Civil engineering: SNC-Lavalin / Aecom/Stantec
Acoustic specialists: SNC-Lavalin
Regulations: Technorm
General contractor: SNC-Lavalin, Dragados Canada, Aecon Quebec Group and EBC (in consortium under the name NouvLR)

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