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