Understand the evolution of the UdeM campus

Understand the evolution of the UdeM campus
Understand the evolution of the UdeM campus

“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. Professor-researcher at the School of Architecture of the University of Montreal, she is interested in the conservation of cultural, built, landscape and urban heritage. She is also co-author of the book The campus: the architectural and landscape heritage of the University of Montreal, which is the result of the work of the Canada Research Chair in Built Heritage.

So she accepted the Belles Heures invitation to give a talk about the mountain campus. As part of the Grandes Retrouvailles of the Université de Montréal, the conference will take place on Thursday, September 29, from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., at 1375, avenue Thérèse-Lavoie-Roux, at the MIL campus. The graduates who attend will thus be able to understand the evolution of the campus since the end of their studies.

Update on the evolution of the campus

While the development of the northern flank of Mount Royal is the subject of many discussions, Claudine Déom will take the opportunity to talk about the heritage value of the campus and the challenges posed by its conservation (environmental, heritage and inclusion). The professor is particularly interested in the way in which we determine what constitutes heritage and in the different voices that participate in this process ‒ residents, experts or elected officials. “Heritage is not born from heritage, it becomes so with regard to a society at a given moment”, she recalls.

Mme Déom will recount the great moments in the history of the mountain campus (birth of the pavilions, layout of the premises) and will initiate a reflection on the future development of the campus, particularly within the framework of the new master plan for development. “History is not there to freeze anything. She is there to bring an additional perspective to decision-making,” remarks the one who also collaborated with the Buildings Department in the development of this plan.

(Re)discover your campus

Because even though students, staff members and faculty spend a lot of time on UdeM’s main campus, it remains little known. Professor Déom tells how she made her groups rediscover the pavilion of the Faculty of Environmental Design, which they nevertheless frequent every day. “They did not know that it was a former convent”, notes Mme Deom.

According to her, it is the architectural richness of the campus that remains underestimated: “It is a true microcosm of the history of modern architecture in Quebec that is represented on the mountain campus.” The various pavilions and landscaping bear witness to all the important periods of architecture, designed by local architects.

The Faculty of Environmental Design will also offer a guided tour on the occasion of the Grandes Retrouvailles, just after the conference. Offered by Héritage 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.

Claudine Déom thus hopes to contribute to a better appreciation of these gems. “Knowing allows recognition, which can bring a feeling of belonging. Heritage is also a vector of identity and well-being,” she concludes.

The article is in French

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