Radical Reuse: Transforming Existing Buildings for a Sustainable Urban Future

Session: Track C: Towers and the Challenge of Context: The Future

Philippe MizutaniProject image

Philippe Mizutani
Partner, Provencher Roy

A sustainable future depends on our ability to radically reuse existing sites and buildings to meet climate challenges, citizens’ needs, and changing ways of life. Cities today must act and implement policies to counter global warming. Among the different strategies cities can put in place, the adaptive reuse of brownfields and aging buildings are effective sustainable solutions with the added benefits of improving public health and re-establishing links between a city’s neighborhoods.

This presentation will explore Provencher_Roy’s radical thinking about sustainability through several projects: the rehabilitation of an entire city block in Old Montréal left abandoned in the 80s into vibrant office space - the World Trade Centre Montréal effectively stitching neighborhoods back together; the adaptive reuse of the Tour de Montréal, a building designed as an icon of the 1976 Summer Olympics that stood vacant for 45 years but is now a vibrant office destination; the transformation of a contaminated industrial site, the Angus Shops, into Canada’s most sustainable neighborhood; the rehabilitation of the Alexandra pier at the Old Port of Montréal into a world-class maritime station and public promenade. These projects aim to attract visitors, new residents, and professionals— and are prime examples of Montréal's ingenuity, cultural legacy, and forward-thinking collective identity. We argue for obsolete sites and buildings to become living parts of a city, sustaining their environments, economies, and heritage.