“We spend a lot of time on the mountain campus; it’s a living and working space, but we don’t know much about the built environment,” notes Claudine Déom. A research professor at the University of Montreal’s School of Architecture, he is interested in the preservation of cultural, built, landscape and urban heritage. He is also the co-author of the book Campus: the Architectural and landscape heritage of the University of Montreal, This is the result of the work of the Canada Research Chair in Built Heritage.
So he accepted an invitation to give a talk on the mountain town of Belles Heures. As part of the Université de Montréal’s Grandes Retrouvailles, the conference will be held on Thursday, September 29, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the MIL campus, 1375 avenue Teres-Lavoie-Roux. Participating alumni will thus be able to understand the evolution of the campus after graduation.
An update on the evolution of the campus
While the development of Mount Royal’s northern flank is the subject of much debate, Claudine Déom will take the opportunity to talk about the heritage value of the campus and the challenges of its preservation (environment, heritage and inclusion). The professor is particularly interested in how we define what constitutes heritage and the different voices involved in this process – residents, experts or elected officials. “Heritage is not born from inheritance, it happens in relation to society at a certain moment,” he recalls.
MI Déom will talk about the big moments in the history of the mountain campus (the birth of the pavilions, the layout of the buildings) and start thinking about the future development of the campus, especially within the framework of the new development master plan. “History is not there to freeze anything. It’s there to bring an additional perspective to decision-making,” says a person who collaborated with the Department of Buildings on the development of this plan.
(Re)discover your campus
Because although students, staff and faculty spend a lot of time on the main campus of UdeM, it is still little known. Professor Déom explains how his group rediscovered the pavilion of the Faculty of Environmental Design, which they often see every day. “They did not know that this was a former monastery”, MI Deom.
According to him, the architectural richness of the campus is not underestimated: “This mountain campus is a true microcosm of the history of modern architecture in Quebec.” Various pavilions and landscaping designed by local architects testify to all important periods of architecture.
The Faculty of Environmental Design will also offer a guided tour on the occasion of the Grandes Retrouvailles immediately after the conference. Offered by Heritage Montréal, it will allow you to discover the heritage of the MIL campus over two kilometers from the Outremont district to the Faculty of Environmental Design.
Thus, Claudine Déom hopes to contribute to a better appreciation of these gems. “Knowing allows recognition, which can create a sense of belonging. Heritage is also a vector of identity and well-being,” he concludes.