Community Story

Agora Maximus: The Art of Taking Placemaking to the “Next Level”

October 13, 2022

Thank you to Marc-André Carignan who shared this story to Canada’s Placemaking Community. To share your own story, click here!

Submitted by: Marc-André Carignan

The Agora Maximus offers an iconic and innovative intervention within the Latin Quarter of Montreal, celebrating its legacy as a foundational site for the city’s Francophone institutions and highlighting its festive culture imbued with “joie de vivre”!

Immersive and invigorating, it combines two emblematic pieces of Latin culture: the Agora, a place of civic meetings, and the Circus Maximus, an entertainment space. In this way, the singular concept pays homage to urban, fairground, and experimental arts by transforming the street into a linear stage and track, with temporary platforms arranged at intervals along the artery. These modular platforms offer a popular place of socialization for pedestrians and evoke the steps of the founding institutions of the Latin Quarter.

A main objective of the installation was to reinvent summer placemaking to move away from a “disposable” materiality, which occurs with many projects in the development of pedestrian streets. The choice of quality materials such as wood and steel thus guided the creative process, which led to durable furniture that offers many configuration possibilities.

Indeed, the installation is made up of “pixels” (attached to each other using the universal key hidden under each module) that can be reconfigured from one season to another. Emphasis has also been placed on abundant vegetation to green the street, whose perennials are preserved by a specialized team.

The project was designed and produced by LAAB collective, Signature Design communication and Bao Nguyen. Clients: Quartier Latin, in collaboration with the Quartier des spectacles de Montréal.

To learn more about the Quartier des spectacles, visit their website here!