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Exploratory typo-morphological study of Île-d’Orléans

Exploratory typo-morphological study of Île-d’Orléans

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Protected since 1935, Île-d’Orléans is one of the 13 declared heritage sites, the highest heritage status given by the Quebec government in recognition of its importance as a cultural landscape, its insular character and 400 years of agricultural activity, and as a place of great symbolic value and identity. Under the revised Cultural Heritage Act, the Ministry of Culture and Communications of Quebec (MCCQ) will replace the existing Conservation Plan with a by-law framework to guide the analysis and authorization of development and construction projects within the site.

ERA was given the mandate to explore how a typo-morphological study of this large territory could support the development of the new by-laws for its various landscape units. To beginning, the team carried out a review of the available documentation, in order to understand the main conservation issues, the current applicable protection framework and the objectives targeted by the implementation of the new by-law. The topic of the “intensity” of the MCCQ’s requirements in the various sectors, and the issue of the visibility of the interventions from the public realm and the St. Laurent River were discussed. Subsequently, the division of the territory into landscape “sectors” and “units” was refined based on the division presented in the Conservation Plan and on the landscape units and sectors described in previous studies. This analysis involved validating the desired level of granularity for the subdivision, and the criteria for their physical delimitation, based on a selection of samples. ERA then developed a template for a synthesis analysis sheet of sectors and landscape units, with different levels of precision for their characterization. These “criteria” included quantitative and qualitative data translated into standards or discretionary elements for the regulation. The team fulfilled the synthesis analysis sheet for a number of sampled sectors and landscape units, which validated the information gathering and analysis methods, and identified missing data and complementary studies required to meet the by-law’s objectives. Finally, in parallel to the completion of the synthesis analysis sheets, the team conducted an analysis of the spatial organization of the plots and the built environment, for 5 representative sectors, using an isometric representation of recurring “typologies”. This analysis offers a complementary understanding of existing studies about residential and agricultural architectural typologies on the island and enriches the overall study.

In conclusion, ERA articulated recommendations for the methodological approach for the complete typo-morphological study of the island, notably about the subdivision and the characterization of the site.

EN - Photo credits: Pierre Lahoud, 2014 ; Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec, 2016, modified by ERA Architects, 2023.

Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec (MCCQ)
2022 - 2023
Ève Wertheimer/Marie-Eve Beaudette

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