Les Ateliers Cabot is the winning project for C40 Reinventing Montreal 2021, which is part of the Reinventing Cities project. It is a call for designers and architects to come up with project ideas that will create carbon-neutral urban areas in underused sites into great new developments. These projects are meant to inspire the rest of the world and Les Ateliers Cabot is a truly inspiring project.

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Bird's eye view of the design of the building with the land surrounding it

Several different firms came together to create this project. Sid Lee Architecture, Ateliers Creatifs Montreal, the Centre for Sustainable Development and Collectif Recolte all worked together to create the design. This is a multifunctional site, including an artist studios, office space, business space and facilities for food production.

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Columns and beams being constructed

The project uses low-carbon solutions that can be produced on a city-wide scale. The new buildings will mostly be made of wood, including beams, columns and floors. The goal is to achieve zero-organic waste in three years. It’s a mix of new and restored buildings that includes the old sawmill — which will be part of the new public square.

Courtyard view with urban forest

The site includes an interior courtyard, an event space and a pedestrian entrance and a public square. Existing industrial buildings will be reused, with the new buildings incorporated into the new design. The buildings will have sloping roofs part of rainwater collection systems. There’s also an urban forest nearby, which the southwest entrance offers a beautiful view of.

Exterior lawn of the building

The site is located between two large canals and surrounded by nature, like many other sites that aren’t being used out in the world. But, hopefully, projects like this will help change all of that.

Interior of the building with sculptures and people filled it

Through socio-financing, the project will be open to as many people as possible, allowing for contributions at all levels. This will truly make the project community-created. Les Ateliers Cabot is one example of how an underused site can become an amazing new urban development.

+ Sid Lee Architecture

Images via Sid Lee Architecture