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Found 57 results

  1. Couldn't find any info online, but the last remaining nuns moved out March 2013. This CANDEV sign popped up over the weekend.
  2. Hors Canada,mais intéressant de voir ce qui pourrait un jour nous arriver... Irish house prices to fall another 20pc, warns Fitch. Irish house prices could fall a further 20pc and inflict stiff losses on holders of mortgage bonds, with a growing risk of property defaults across the eurozone periphery, according to Fitch Ratings. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9789129/Irish-house-prices-to-fall-another-20pc-warns-Fitch.html
  3. Peu importe où l'on se trouve sur la planète, je pense qu'on pourra toujours se consoler en regardant Détroit..... http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/mother-six-trades-98k-house-used-minivan-152424777.html
  4. Source: Bored Panda Via: Journal Métro Strangebuildings.com has a wonderful collection of the world’s most unusual architecture and together with Bored Panda presents you an incredible list of 33 strangest buildings in the world, and best of all, it’s not just another random list, but it is based on 4.520 unique visitor votes. 1. Mind House (Barcelona, Spain) ... 13. Habitat 67 (Montreal, Canada) 15. Olympic Stadium (Montreal, Canada) 28. Montreal Biosphere (Canada)
  5. Here are some photos I took in and around Caracas yesterday (I will post more later). I have always wondered what non-Venezuelan people think about Venezuelan cities. Here are my views: Venezuelan metro systems are much cleaner, modern and quieter (the trains, not the people) than the older North American and European subways. The streets outside are much dirtier though. These are photos of a metro station near my house: This is the skyline of a small section of the eastern (wealthier) part of Caracas: These are some photos of the area around Altamira, one of the most important business and residential districts of the city: These ones are from the area around the Bellas Artes metro station. Bellas Artes is the bohemian district of Caracas:
  6. (Courtesy of The Real Estalker) :eek: True this is nothing compared to the Desmarais estate in the middle of no where of Quebec.
  7. Best deals in real estate by Don Sutton, MoneySense Wednesday, June 16, 2010 It’s a crazy time for real estate in Canada. Prices are sky-high, people are feeling pressured into selling into a hot market and buyers fear purchasing an overpriced home only to see the bubble burst. But MoneySense magazine has come to the rescue and crunched the numbers to identify the best real estate deals in the best cities. Using hard data on 35 major housing markets, the magazine has awarded a letter grade based on how reasonable the house prices are, whether home prices are likely to rise and how prosperous the local economy is. Surprisingly, none of the winning cities are Canada’s largest, but instead reflect medium-sized cities with affordable house prices that have the ability to grow strongly with local economic conditions. The best deals in real estate in Canada are to be found in Moncton and Regina, both of whom received an A-, while Fredericton, St. John’s, Ottawa, Gatineau, Winnipeg, Guelph and Saint John all received a B+. The criteria for the study was strict and comprehensive. MoneySense compared average rents to average home prices, which gives a great indicator of how valuable a home is. Next it compared local wages as to average home prices to see how long it would take for a family to purchase a home. The magazine also evaluated how quickly homes sold and prices increased over the years. Last, the economic environment of the city was also analyzed. The magazine looked at how fast a community grew, what the unemployment rate was and what kind of discretionary income the citizens had. This method avoided identifying cheap real estate in communities where prices were unlikely to increase due to a poor local economy or widespread unemployment. The analysis gives a comprehensive overview of where to get the best real estate deals in Canada. The study is also useful for identifying which real estate markets to avoid. For example, Abbotsford and Montreal both only rated Cs. MoneySense’s study also identified overpriced markets. For instance, Kelowna, B.C., scored well in the category of growth potential and has a great local economy. But the average house price makes it hard for the typical family to buy into the market. With this aspect in mind, Kelowna rated a D+ in the value category and a C+ overall. Windsor, Ont., where house prices are among the best values in Canada, is in the opposite situation. It rated an A for affordability, but since the city is slowly recovering from deep layoffs in the car industry, it only rates a C in the momentum category and a C+ for local economy, giving it a B+ overall. In concrete terms, what the best cities for real estate like Regina and Moncton have going for them is big-city growth and opportunities without big-city prices. While the affordability and growth value of a home are not always the prime reasons to buy in a particular location, knowing that your home is a sound investment in an economically vibrant city offers great peace of mind. Top 5 cities: 1. Moncton A- 2. Regina A- 3. Fredericton B+ 4. St. John's B+ 5. Ottawa B+ http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/personal-finance/article/moneysense/1662/best-deals-in-real-estate
  8. Boat dock inside the house Price: $25 million (sold as is) Living Space: 65,000 sq.ft Acreage: 43 It has an indoor pool and a golf course. No helipad though, which is weird. The place is 500 km from Toronto. Thats a nice commute.
  9. J ai déménagé ce fil dans Discussions Générales , mais n'arrive pas à effacer celui-ci.
  10. Fondée il y a cinq ans, Mountain House devait être un eldorado pour les jeunes familles. Aujourd'hui, 9 propriétaires sur 10 sont «sous l'eau». Pour en lire plus...
  11. Montreal house prices hold steady The Gazette Monday, October 06, 2008 Montreal's real-estate market remained steady during the third quarter, with average house prices experiencing single-digit gains, according to a House Price Survey report released yesterday by Royal LePage Real Estate Services. A decline in unit sales was recorded, however. While activity levels have rescinded since last year, average listing periods have actually shortened by a few days, compared to the same period 12 months prior. Of the 10 Montreal markets examined, the average price of a detached bungalow increased by 4.8 percent to $236,045, a standard two-storey home appreciated by 0.5 per cent to $336,381 and a standard condominium rose by 4.4 per cent to $204,336, year-over-year. "House prices in Montreal are inching upwards, despite an increase in listing inventory and the fact that there are slightly fewer unit sales," said Gino Romanese, senior vice-president of Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd. "When looking at Montreal's current housing market, we need to realize that 2007 shattered records," he added. "It's unrealistic to believe that that pace can be kept up for very long." © The Gazette 2008 http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/business/story.html?id=952e9c04-7da1-4b47-8865-fd882d7d860b
  12. Changing the plans America’s oil capital is throwing up a few environmental surprises Jul 14th 2012 | HOUSTON | from the print edition STEVE KLINEBERG, a sociologist at Rice University, mentions a couple of events that made Houston’s leaders take notice of a looming problem. One was the day, in 1999, when their city overtook Los Angeles as America’s most polluted—evidence that the rise in asthma attacks among the city’s children, and the students passing out on football pitches, were no coincidence. Another was when Houston came up short in its bid to compete to host the 2012 Olympics. No one on the United States Olympics Committee voted for it, despite the fact that Houston had a brand-new stadium and had promised to turn an old sports field into the world’s largest air-conditioned track-and-field arena. At a casual glance, Houston looks much as it ever did: a tangle of freeways running through a hodgepodge of skyscrapers, strip malls and mixed districts. A closer inspection, though, shows signs of change. The transport authority, which branched into light rail in 2004, is now planning three new lines, adding more than 20 miles of track. Most of the traffic lights now boast LED bulbs, rather than the incandescent sort. More than half the cars in the official city fleet are hybrid or electric, and in May a bike-sharing programme began. Every Wednesday a farmers’ market takes place by the steps of city hall. Other changes are harder to see. The energy codes for buildings have been overhauled and the city is, astonishingly, America’s biggest municipal buyer of renewable energy; about a third of its power comes from Texan wind farms. Houston, in other words, is going green. Laura Spanjian, the city’s director of sustainability, says that businesses are increasingly likely to get on board if they can see the long-term savings or the competitive advantages that flow from creating a more attractive city. She adds an important clarification: “We’re not mandating that they have to do this.” That would not go down well. Houston is the capital of America’s energy industry, and its leaders have traditionally been wary of environmental regulation, both at home and abroad. In fact the city has been sceptical of regulations in general, and even more of central planning. Houston famously has no zoning, which helps explain why the city covers some 600 square miles. It is America’s fourth-largest city by population, but less than half as densely populated as sprawling Los Angeles. People are heavily dependent on cars, the air quality is poor and access to green space is haphazard. At the same time, Houston has jobs, a low cost of living and cheap property. Many people have accepted that trade-off. Between 2000 and 2010 the greater metropolitan area added more than 1.2m people, making it America’s fastest-growing city. Still, the public is taking more interest in sustainability, and for a number of reasons. As the city’s population has swelled, the suburbs have become more crowded. Some of the growth has come from the domestic migration of young professionals with a taste for city life. And despite living in an oil-industry hub, the people of Houston are still aware of the cost of energy; during the summer of 2008, when petrol prices hovered around $4 a gallon, the papers reported a surge of people riding their bicycles to bus stops so that they could take public transport to work. The annual Houston Area Survey from Rice’s Kinder Institute also shows a change. This year’s survey found that 56% think a much better public transport system is “very important” for the city’s future. A similarly solid majority said the Metro system should use all its revenue for improvements to public transport, rather than diverting funds to mend potholes. In the 1990s, most respondents were more concerned about the roads. People’s views about houses have changed, too. In 2008 59% said they would prefer a big house with a big garden, even if that meant they had to use their car to go everywhere. Just 36% preferred a smaller house within walking distance of shops and workplaces. By 2012, preferences were running the other way: 51% liked the idea of a smaller house in a more interesting district, and only 47% said they wanted the lavish McMansion. http://www.economist.com/node/21558632
  13. http://www.baltimoresun.com/travel/bs-tr-montreal-cheap-1022-20111020,0,7685979.story?page=1 Article intéressant! Je dois avouer aimer la citation : « Toronto has its pockets of curiosities, but it ends up being a reminder of many cities in the Northeast. It's not for nothing that it often doubles for New York in movies. It's the no-fun house to Montreal's love shack.»
  14. Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/look+Moishes/4889398/story.html#ixzz1OFxMp0Np
  15. Many people has been talking about forming a group of militants which will support skyscrapers and modern development in montreal... i was reading an article and i thought maybe it would interest some people... http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/story.html?id=3b345e23-1c16-4b82-839c-d5fdc9d3d8e3&k=79136 It might start little, but never we never know how much we can do?!?!?
  16. MONTREAL'S FIRST 100% GREEN CONDO AND TOWNHOUSE PROJECT Overview Located minutes from Montreal’s downtown core and the historic Atwater Market, Maison Productive House (MpH) is a contemporary, green living project that offers a contemporary architecture that makes sustainable urban living bountiful and verdant. At Maison Productive House empowers consumers to live intelligently. Maison Productive House offers you two housing choices to meet you specific needs, Condo and Townhouse. Each unity offers a contemporary and green design that is both rich in space and refined in its architecture. MpH residences offer a privileged, refined living environment, which is refined and avant-garde. MpH perpetuates the exceptional architectural style with the most advanced Green (sustainable living) elements. MpH is Montreal’s first ecological design that seeks carbon-neutrality and addresses various productive aspects of a responsible lifestyle: alternative energy, food garden, active transportation, more personal productivity and leisure time. Here are some of the design principles that inspired the vision for the MpH Its walking distance from Charlevoix metro station Amenities MpH is very green. Its infrastructure can contribute to the environment instead of being as drain upon it. Maison Productive House seeks a LEED® Platinum certification and follows zero-emission development (ZED) design principles. What is unique about the MpH project is that it is Novoclimat® certified, uses Solar Panel and Geo-thermal energy; includes EnergyStar® appliances, dual-flush toilets and radiant heated floors. Additional examples of this unique project include: Onsite garden Custom-built doors kitchens and stairways using FSC or reclaimed wood or bottles No use of VOC products in lacquers, and natural fibers wherever possible (insulation, wall structure). Social and productive spaces, mixing ecological and social functions, such as: its year-round greenhouse, sauna, meditation room, and laundry room recovering grey waters and balcony. The sauna is strategically placed to allow for voluntary heat loss that directly will benefit the otherwise passively heated (solar) greenhouse. The greenhouse is supplied with recouped rainwater and filtered gray water for irrigation. Other amenities include: - Attention to linkages between outdoor and indoor spaces with the innovation of SunSpaces and ample roof, garden and balcony spaces for social interaction and growing. - Artisan bakery integrated into the residential development - Creation of possible income-streams to owners through rental spaces - Proximity to public transportation and the provision of a shared car service - Both inside and outside the greenhouse, the roof is maximized for growing vegetables. Cold-frames are integrated in the roof balustrade with seasonal covers to extend the growing season. - This social gathering area will have all the amenities for Bar-B-Qs, sun-bathing and gardening. - The Sauna uses an electrically-powered design which utilizes pine wood and is large enough for 4-6 people. - In addition to the roof greenhouse, every owner has their own private plot for growing fruits and vegetables in the garden as well as access to a fruit orchard and a herbal garden. - Water filtration systems: Units 2,4 and laundry room have recycled gray waters. Also personal units are supplied with carbon filters in the kitchen counters to provide the cleanest possible drinking water. backview They say they have 55% sold. It seems like they have 3-4 condos [only 1 left] (each are 3.5 equalling 809 sq.ft) and there is 4 townhouses [only 2 left] PDF File
  17. Posted Apr 13th 2009 6:02PM by Jared Paul Stern Filed under: Estates A mansion in London's posh Belgrave Square has hit the market for £100 million, or about $150 million, tying it with Candy Spelling's The Manor in Beverly Hills for the title of the world's most expensive estate (in terms of current listings). The six-floor, 21,000-sq.-ft. white-stucco-fronted building has 12 bedrooms, 20-ft. ceilings, a basement swimming pool, gym, media room, and every imaginable luxury fitting. The property has been gutted and revamped by Lebanese developer Musa Salem, the London Times reports. Across the Square another house has recently come on the market for £80 million, or about $120 million. The eight-bedroom, 20,000-sq.-ft. house is being sold by Saudi Arabia's Juffali family, following the death of its owner. Belgrave Square is also home to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the Emir of Dubai, as well as several embassies. The Square was built for the 2nd Earl Grosvenor, later the 1st Marquess of Westminster, in the 1820s and is one of the grandest in London. http://www.luxist.com/
  18. We just need to add Alaska, Guam, Turks & Caicos and the US Virgin Islands :D It be beautiful. If this ever happened. Guess the White House could be in Texas somewhere or something.
  19. Couillard pushed Quebec City project to Tories after firm lost Montreal bid DANIEL LEBLANC AND INGRID PERITZ With reports from Tu Thanh Ha in Toronto and Rhéal Seguin in Quebec City June 13, 2008 OTTAWA AND MONTREAL -- The Kevlar Group was losing out on a major federal contract in Montreal in early 2007 at the same time as Julie Couillard started lobbying two senior Conservative officials in favour of another one of the company's projects in Quebec City, according to government records and sources. Kevlar wanted to spend up to $25-million to develop a large swath of land that belonged to Canada Post on the Montreal harbourfront. However, another Crown corporation, Canada Lands, used its right of first refusal and snagged the 60,000-square-metre property in a deal that was officially announced on May 2, 2007, a spokesman for Canada Lands confirmed. Kevlar was believed to be unhappy in Montreal when its postal-site bid was rejected, according to a real-estate consultant. "They [Kevlar] probably invested a lot of time, money and energy in their building proposal, which they thought was the best," said a source familiar with the project. "Then Canada Lands turned around and said, 'We'll develop the site.' " Print Edition - Section Front Enlarge Image More Front Page Stories Couillard pushed Quebec City project to Tories after firm lost Montreal bid About the same time, Kevlar was bidding on another federal project worth about $30-million for a building in Quebec City to house 750 bureaucrats. In the House yesterday, the Opposition expressed clear concerns that the company used Ms. Couillard to infiltrate the government in an attempt to ensure it would win that contract. Ms. Couillard was finishing her training as a real-estate agent at the time, and had obtained an affiliation with the firm's real-estate branch. In the spring of 2007, she started dating, in succession, two senior Conservative officials: Public Works adviser Bernard Côté and industry minister Maxime Bernier. According to senior federal officials, Ms. Couillard directly discussed Kevlar's bid in Quebec City with Mr. Bernier and Mr. Côté. Mr. Bernier has since resigned after classified documents were left in April at the home of Ms. Couillard, who had lived with two men with ties to the Hells Angels in the 1990s. Mr. Côté resigned this week after telling his superiors about Ms. Couillard's lobbying efforts and acknowledging he should have recused himself from the file to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. As The Globe and Mail reported yesterday, Kevlar co-chair Philippe Morin introduced Ms. Couillard and Mr. Bernier to one another in April in a restaurant in Montreal. A source added yesterday that Mr. Bernier and Mr. Morin might have known one another through their respective involvement in a group called the Young Presidents' Organization. Mr. Morin is the son of a well-known book publisher in Quebec. Kevlar officials refused repeated requests for comment yesterday, and did not expand on their previous statement that their link to Ms. Couillard was simply related to her real-estate licence. In the House of Commons, the Liberals accused Ms. Couillard of attempting to "infiltrate the Conservative government." "She tried to influence real-estate contracts at Public Works," said Montreal Liberal MP Marlene Jennings. According to news reports, Kevlar was founded by president René Bellerive in 1996, with Mr. Morin becoming a partner in 1999. The firm has acquired and built a number of commercial buildings and condominiums in Montreal and Quebec City, often with other financial partners. Kevlar and its owners have also donated thousands of dollars to federalist and separatist parties, in Ottawa and Quebec City, with the first recorded pledge to the Conservative Party, for $1,000, coming in the months after the Tories were elected to office. The government did not directly address the opposition's concerns in the House yesterday, except to say there has been no decision on the Quebec City project, on which Kevlar is one of about two dozen bidders. Conservative House Leader Peter Van Loan accused the opposition of wasting time by holding a parliamentary inquiry into the matter. "It is about finding sordid stories that can make for good news for those who are into gossip and that sort of stuff, but it is not about the important questions of public policy," he said. Regarding the Montreal project, Kevlar submitted an initial $25-million bid for the site in 2006. After several extensions to conduct due diligence, the firm submitted a lowered offer for the property on Feb. 28 of last year. Kevlar's deal fell through when Canada Lands matched its $18-million offer. "The company that bid on the site put in an offer, and we matched it," said Gordon McIvor, vice-president of Canada Lands.
  20. Judge nixes bid to halt Montreal renovation LES PERREAUX From Tuesday's Globe and Mail December 16, 2008 at 3:48 AM EST MONTREAL — The owners of a Westmount house with a million-dollar view will have to give up a slice of their panorama. A judge has refused an attempt by the couple in the affluent Montreal enclave to stop a neighbour from adding a fourth storey and cutting into their spectacular view of the city below. Mr. Justice Robert Mongeon of Quebec Superior Court ruled Steven Goldberg is entitled to raise the roof on his house at 27 Bellevue Ave., even if it cuts into the sight line of his neighbours up the hill. Mireille Raymond and her husband, John Keyserlingk, sought an injunction to block an addition they say will also block sunlight and decrease the value of their $1.7-million property on Sunnyside Avenue by about 30 per cent. Those are exaggerations, Judge Mongeon ruled, after taking the unusual step of holding court on the hillside to check out the view. The judge, who was assisted by a wooden frame and yellow police tape set up on the roof of Mr. Goldberg's house to mimic the new addition, found only a small sliver of the view to the east will be blocked. "The loss must be considered in a much more realistic fashion than was initially presented," he ruled in a judgment handed down late Friday. Mr. Goldberg's lawyers pointed out that he had submitted his plans to the City of Westmount in September of 2007 and his permit was granted after an in-depth study over six months. The city argued nothing guaranteed Ms. Raymond and her husband that they would enjoy their view in perpetuity. Ms. Raymond was upset by the verdict, saying the judge, like the city, seemed to discount the importance of the unencumbered view. Ms. Raymond and Dr. Keyserlingk were ordered to
  21. The Bilbao Effect: is 'starchitecture' all it’s cracked up to be? Every struggling post-industrial city has the same idea: hire a star architect (like Frank Gehry) to design a branch of a famous museum (like the Guggenheim), and watch your city blossom with culture. After all, it worked for Bilbao ... didn’t it? Tomasz Kacprzak, chairman of the city council of Łódź, the third-biggest city in Poland, was telling me about the time he met David Lynch. “We went to his house in California,” Kacprzak said. “He loves Łódź. He wants to build us a cultural centre.” (Lynch’s plan for a 90-acre site comprising a film studio, cinema, gallery, offices and bar in an abandoned power plant in Łódź – the city that also inspired the cult director’s film Inland Empire – is expected to open in 2016.) “Actually,” Kacprzak continued, “Lynch’s house is not great. The interior. It is not modern.” “Oh, no,” I said. “Retro? Nineties?” “No,” Kacprzak said. “Eighties. Gehry’s house was much nicer.” “You went to Frank Gehry’s house, too?” This was interesting. We were standing in the soaring atrium of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, designed by Gehry. Through the window, in the courtyard, you could make out the back of Jeff Koons’ huge, Edward Scissorhands-style plant sculpture, Puppy. “Yes,” Kacprzak said. “We asked for the Guggenheim in Łódź.” “You wanted Gehry to design a new museum?” “No,” Kacprzak said. “The same.” He swept his arm over the pine, glass and steel that curved above our heads. “You wanted him to build the exact same building?” “Yes,” Kacprzak said casually. “The same. But we would use it for a concert hall.” Much is made of the so-called ‘Bilbao effect’, the idea that attracting a world-class cultural institution – in Bilbao’s case, a branch of New York’s Guggenheim art museum – will put your city on the map, and in turn attract more investment, brands, tourism and cultural energy. This was the first time, however, that I’d heard someone say they wanted to copy Bilbao’s building exactly, swooping metal sheet for swooping metal sheet. “What did Gehry say?” I asked. “He said, ‘OK – but it will very expensive.’” Kacprzak shrugged. “We are a small city.” So, of course, was Bilbao 18 years ago when it rose to fame almost overnight. The fourth-largest city in Spain had lost its former glory as a manufacturing centre: its factories shuttered, its port decrepit. But after Spain joined the EU in 1986, Basque Country authorities embarked on an ambitious redevelopment programme for their biggest city. They drafted in expensive architects to design an airport (Santiago Calatrava), a metro system (Norman Foster), and a footbridge (Calatrava again), and in 1991 landed their biggest fish – the Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation, which decided to bring a new branch of the legendary Guggenheim Museum to the city, and hired star California architect Frank Gehry to build it. The building was an instant hit. Critics agreed Gehry’s deconstructed meringue of sweeping metal, which opened in 1997, was a work of “mercurial brilliance”. The collection inside, featuring art by Willem De Kooning, Mark Rothko, Anselm Kiefer and Richard Serra, was world-class. The construction even came in on budget, at $89m. What’s more, Bilbao now had a landmark. Visitor spending in the city jumped, recouping the building cost within three years. Five years after construction, Bilbao estimated that its economic impact on the local economy was worth €168m, and poured an additional €27m into Basque government tax coffers – the equivalent of adding 4,415 jobs. More than one million people annually now visit the museum, which became the centrepiece of the Bilbao Art District: a cluster composed of the maritime museum, the fine arts museum and the Sala Rekalde art centre. In 2010, French designer Philippe Starck completed his renovation of a former wine cellar to create the Alhondiga culture and leisure centre (recently rebranded as Azkuna Zentroa). And Zaha Hadid has presented radical plans to redevelop the neglected Zorrozaurre peninsula and turn it into a high-tech residential and cultural island. A struggling city, decimated by the decline of its manufacturing base, had seemingly reinvented itself by – of all things – betting big on culture. Other post-industrial cities noticed. When I told Kacprzak’s story to Maria Fernandez Sabau, a cultural and museum consultant for cities around the world, she sighed. “Yes, many of my clients say the same thing: give us the Guggenheim,” she said. “Often the exact same building! But you can’t just copy it.” Don’t tell that to Abu Dhabi. Possibly in an attempt to buttress itself against the day the oil runs out, the city is building a museum complex called Saadiyat Island, which will feature branches of not just the Guggenheim (again) but the Louvre as well. In Hong Kong, the West Kowloon Cultural District will be home to M+, a new museum of Chinese contemporary art. There are plans for new cultural hubs centred on museums in Mecca, in Tirana, in Belo Horizonte and in Perth, Australia. It’s the same in the UK: Dundee has drafted in Kengo Kuma to build a new V&A Museum of Design, while Liverpool and Margate have welcomed the Tate Liverpool (designed by James Stirling) and the Turner Contemporary (David Chipperfield). Every city, it seems, wants to create the next Bilbao-Guggenheim-Gehry vortex. Praise for this model reached its zenith last month, as mayors, cultural attachés and city representatives descended on Bilbao for the UCLG Cities and Culture Conference. Walking the streets with Kacprzak from Łódź, I could see what the delegates liked so much. The city centre is clean. There are lots of expensive retail shops. “El Fosterito”, the glass-tube metro entrances designed by Foster, are slick and futuristic. And the people seem disproportionately well-off. Presiding over it all, like a monolith of gentrification, is the Guggenheim. Yet despite this icon of culture, the city seems strangely quiet. Where are the local galleries, the music, the graffiti, the skateboarders? Spain’s difficulties with youth unemployment are well-documented, but I expected more twentysomethings in what is regularly billed as a cultural capital. Does the Guggenheim actually encourage creativity in the city, as advertised, or is it a Disneylandish castle on the hill with a fancy name and an expensive entrance fee for tourists and the well-heeled? Is the Bilbao effect to spread culture, or just to spread money? “The Guggenheim put our city on the map, no question. But you also can’t get anything support here unless it’s top-down,” says Manu Gómez-Álvarez, an animated man of around 40 wearing earrings and a black hoodie, who is the driving force behind ZAWP, the Zorrozaurre Art Working Progress, a cultural group based on the Bilbao peninsula that Zaha Hadid proposes to completely redevelop. ZAWP is precisely the kind of cultural organisation that gets praised in megacities like London and New York. It’s a decentralised collective of young artists, theatre-makers, musicians and designers, with co-making spaces in the old industrial buildings of Zorrozaurre and a thriving entrepreneurial atmosphere in their colourful, funky headquarters – which also house a bar, a cafe, a gig space and a theatre. Gómez-Álvarez is leading a movement he calls Meanwhile, which aims to use the still-derelict buildings of the peninsula as temporary sites for plays, gigs, artistic interventions or even just cafes. Every proposal, at every turn, gets the same answer back from the authorities: no. “There’s no support for grassroots culture,” he says. “We waited 20 years before we got any funding from the government at all.” Last year, he says ZAWP finally received a grant – but they still don’t get a permanent home in the new Zorrozaurre, and will almost certainly have to move again. It’s hard to imagine: ZAWP’s premises are huge, stretching through half a dozen buildings and decorated in amazingly elaborate detail. And yet “we are nomads”, says Gómez-Álvarez. I asked Igor de Quadra, who runs Karraskan Bilbao – a network of more than a dozen theatre groups, venues and creative organisations – what he thought of the Guggenheim’s effect. He struggled to frame his words carefully. “It is fine for what it is,” he said at last, “but it gets a lot of attention from people who are just passing through. Events like this [uCLG forum] take up a lot of attention, but don’t leave much behind for Bilbao culture. Frankly, we don’t think about the Guggenheim.” The Guggenheim certainly doesn’t claim to be in the business of fostering local culture, nor would you expect it to. The museum has some Basque art and occasionally runs cultural workshops, but it’s an international art museum, rather incongruously plonked down in northern Spain. (Extreme Basque nationalists didn’t take kindly to its arrival: the week before it opened, ETA killed a police officer in a foiled attempt to bomb the museum.) There are, of course, Basque cultural organisations in the city, such as Harrobia Bilbao, a performing arts group established in a former church in the Otxarkoaga area in 2011, but their presence feels surprisingly marginal in a city that is supposed to be at the heart of Basque culture. “In English Canada, culture’s nice to have – in French Canada, it’s crucial,” says Simon Brault, head of the Arts Council of Canada, talking about a similar dynamic between French-speaking Quebec and the rest of the country. Brault helmed what you might call an “anti-Bilbao effect” – a completely different type of culture-led regeneration in another struggling post-industrial city, Montreal. Brault helped found an open, non-hierarchical cultural network called Culture Montreal, which rather than speaking only to the Guggenheims and cultural superstars of the city, was open to everyday Montrealers – bar owners, teachers, musicians. “An artist just in from Chile would be at the same table as the head of Cirque du Soleil,” he says. The aim wasn’t to secure funding for massive projects, but to put culture at the heart of the city’s regeneration. It was controversial at first. “The cultural groups thought it was a distraction and that what the culture sector needed was more money,” he said. “But within a year, we got what cultural groups had been asking for for 20 years: a seat at the table.” Rather than championing culture only for an elite group of professionals – and asking for money just for the huge institutions – Culture Montreal was better received by city and provincial governments, says Brault. Their goals were less arrogant: to increase cultural access for Montrealers, and to include culture as part of the solution to any civic problems. They achieved this, Brault says, by making everyone feel as though culture was a daily part of everyone’s life, not something for a sophisticated few. “There is definitely room for starchitects, but it’s always better to tap into local culture rather than buy it from outside. You can’t do culture in a city without involving citizens,” he said. So, which is the better way for cities – bottom-up cultural movements or big-ticket splashes? “Of course, there will always be top-down decisions,” Brault said. “The key is to look for a middle ground.” Hadid’s billion-pound redevelopment of Zorrozaurre will be a test for that middle ground in Bilbao. Will its 6,000 new houses, two new technology centres and park genuinely engage with local culture, or will it simply be a flashy area for rich Spaniards looking for a waterfront property? The Bilbao effect might be famous, but it’s here that it could be truly tested. Those cities around the globe hoping a brand-name museum will save them should be watching carefully. “The Guggenheim Bilbao was a rare occurrence,” says museum consultant Maria Fernandez Sabau. “There was an incredible confluence of amazing, talented people. You had a museum that was hungry to expand, available land for cheap, a government with money, an architect itching to make a statement, and a city that desperately needed a new reason to exist. You can’t just buy that.” http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/apr/30/bilbao-effect-gehry-guggenheim-history-cities-50-buildings?CMP=twt_gu
  22. Trouvé sur ce site : Irenebrination: Notes on Architecture, Art, Fashion and Technology: May 2014 avec cette description : Également trouvé en parcourant divers site, cette photo de la maison Shaughnessy en 1948 : sur ce site : Montreal Mission | Sisters of Service