In the summer of 2016, La Maison de l’architecture du Québec (MAQ) commissioned six landscape/architect/artist teams to create an installation that considers ways to improve the experience of Québec’s Autoroutes for the exhibit S.O.S. Paysages Autoroutiers. Together with Poet Ronna Bloom, PLANT explored Highway 10, the highway to the Eastern Townships and the Appalachian Mountains. No. 10 is the highway that passes by and between a set of mountains – not a chain like the Appalachians or the Laurentians, but a sequence – each a singular and bold eruption from the St. Lawrence lowland plain, a totemic icon: mountain, space, mountain, space…. No. 10 follows the route of eight of the nine Montérégian mountains – Mount Royal, Mount St. Bruno, Mont St. Hilaire, Mont St. Grégoire, Mont Rougemont, Mont Yamaska, Mont Shefford, and Mont Brome – each linked by heat on the Great Meteor Hotspot Track. Each of these mountains follow the same fault line, each were created by magma pushing up to create an almost-volcano. At 120 km/h the mountains present themselves in three- to thirty-second glimpses like ships on the vast horizon of the plain.

View of highway with poem text
View of highway with poem text
View of sign with ordered letters (photo: Chris Pommer/PLANT, Marie-France Daigneault Bouchard/MAQ)
View of a mountain identification sign – resolved
View of sign with jumbled letters (photo: Chris Pommer/PLANT, Marie-France Daigneault Bouchard/MAQ)
View of a mountain identification sign – approach

Blink, and you miss it brings the driver and passengers’ attention to this fleeting sequence of mountains, both factual and poetic, at high speed and at rest, with three distinct interventions shaped by speed: Mountain identifiers that require high speed to decode; an Ode to the mountains 140 km long (There are mountains; there is a sequence going eastbound and Il y a des montagnes, il y a une sequence going westbound) is embedded in the roadbed and rendered as an anomorphic illusion at high speed; and focussed mountain lookouts for moments of rest.

The full text of Ronna’s poems can be read here.

aView of bench with mountain in the distance (photo: Chris Pommer/PLANT, Marie-France Daigneault Bouchard/MAQ)
View of the mountain from the viewing bench
exhibition view (photo: Chris Pommer/PLANT, Marie-France Daigneault Bouchard/MAQ)
View of the installation at MAQ
autoroutes-opening-night-crowd2-6 (photo: Chris Pommer/PLANT, Marie-France Daigneault Bouchard/MAQ)
Discussion of the 3D model
View of the opening from the street (photo: Chris Pommer/PLANT, Marie-France Daigneault Bouchard/MAQ)
View of the installation from Rue Saint-Antoine

Poem

installationgraphicsexhibitsinfrastructureetceteracool stuff

project index

  1. A Conversation of Views
  2. Admiral Road Garden
  3. Airdrie Road Garden
  4. Airdrie Road Residence
  5. Albany Avenue Residence
  6. Alexandra Park
  7. Aporia Records
  8. Asphalt Poetry
  9. – Poem
  10. Baby Point Gardens
  11. Beach Garden
  12. Beach Village BIA Master Plan
  13. Beaty Residence
  14. Bennington Heights Garden
  15. Berkeley Street Residence
  16. Bin-Scarth Garden
  17. Blink and you miss it.
  18. – Poem
  19. Block 22 Landscape
  20. Bloor St. Apartment
  21. Blue Note
  22. Booth Avenue Residence
  23. Boustrophedon Garden
  24. Braemore Gardens Residence
  25. Browning Avenue Residence
  26. Brunswick Avenue Residence
  27. Camp Arowhon Offices
  28. Canadian Firefighters Memorial
  29. Channelled Buried Moved Lost
  30. Chocolate Loft
  31. City Instrument
  32. Clarendon Garden
  33. Conversation Piece
  34. Cortleigh Boulevard Garden
  35. Creemore Farm
  36. Danforth Mosaic BIA Master Plan
  37. Dickson Park Garden
  38. Dilworth Residence
  39. Don Landing Revitalization
  40. Dublin Grounds of Remembrance
  41. Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden
  42. Dupont-by-the-Castle BIA
  43. East Point Bird Sanctuary
  44. Eglinton Ave Forecourt
  45. Eglinton Park Master Plan
  46. Elizabeth Fry Society
  47. Ellsworth Residence
  48. Face to Face | Tête à Tête
  49. First Avenue Garden
  50. First Avenue Residence
  51. Flyover Canada
  52. Foote’s Pond Wood
  53. Forest Hill Village Streetscape
  54. Gaze, Glimpse, Glance
  55. Goldring Landscape, University of Toronto
  56. Gormley Garden
  57. Governor's Bridge Lookout
  58. Greener P
  59. Greer Road Garden
  60. Greer Road Residence
  61. Guelph Bridge
  62. Head in the Clouds
  63. Helena Ave Residence 4
  64. Junction Craft Brewery
  65. Kelpies Competition
  66. Kew Gardens Streetscape
  67. King's Landing Apartment
  68. Kipling & Islington Developments
  69. Le jardin du repos
  70. Lenticular Curtain
  71. Leslie Slip Lookout Park
  72. Liberty Village Parkettes
  73. Liza’s Garden
  74. Lynwood Garden
  75. Macroscape
  76. Markham Garden One
  77. Markham Street Residence Two
  78. Midtown Yonge Streetscape
  79. Mulock Park
  80. Nathan Phillips Square
  81. – Streetscape
  82. – Peace Garden
  83. – Podium Roof Garden
  84. Octane Medical Campus
  85. Orchard View Garden
  86. Osgoode Atkinson Green Competition
  87. Owl Cottage
  88. Paperstone Scissors
  89. Pendrith Residence
  90. Peripheral Sitings
  91. Pottery Road Crossing
  92. rare
  93. Ravine Forecourt
  94. Ribbon of the Lower Don
  95. Riverside BIA Master Plan
  96. Roxborough Garden One
  97. Roxborough Garden Two
  98. Schulich School of Business
  99. Sheridan College
  100. – Trafalgar Campus Master Plan
  101. Spadina Quay Wetland
  102. St. Anne's Road Garden
  103. Stratford Market Square Competition
  104. Stratford Patterson Theatre Competition
  105. Superkids Dental
  106. Superlegible
  107. Sweet Farm
  108. Sweet Farm Pond House
  109. Swift Medical Offices
  110. The Meadows Reconsidered
  111. The Red Sash
  112. Thick & Thin
  113. Thistletown II Townhouses
  114. Tipping Point
  115. TMU Centre for Urban Innovation
  116. TMU Science Building
  117. Tranby Garden
  118. Tree House Residence
  119. UBC Okanagan – The Commons
  120. UHN Tunnels
  121. University of Toronto Mississauga Welcome Centre
  122. Venice Biennale 2012
  123. Vermont Square Park
  124. Vernon Avenue Garden
  125. Walk the Walk
  126. Walmer Road Residence
  127. Welland Canal Fallen Workers Memorial
  128. Wellesley Cottages Garden
  129. Wells Street Residence
  130. Westminster Residence
  131. Weston Village BIA Masterplan
  132. With Words as Their Actions
  133. Woodlawn Avenue Residence
  134. Woven Stories
  135. York Park