It is with sadness that we learned about the passing of renowned Canadian landscape architect Claude Cormier.

In 1995, he established Claude Cormier Architectes Paysagistes in Montreal and, in nearly three decades, received a plethora of awards for his work, both in Canada and internationally.

At Landezine, we featured a selection of projects by his office that radiate a convivial approach and liberating and sophisticated humour. The Esplanade of Palais des Congrès, Montreal, was the third project published on Landezine in July of 2009 when the website was about a week old. We also showcased HtO, a waterfront park in Toronto designed in collaboration with Janet Rosenberg Studio.

Then came the proposal for the Sugar Beach. In the years when many in the profession were focused on realistic renders, struck by the powers of 3D, the office sent us a selection of wonderfully cartoonish graphics illustrating their vision for this post-industrial ex-sugar factory plot. A few years later, we published photos of a fantastic realisation: smart and with just the right amount of sugar left on site. All these witty and gracefully flamboyant projects helped set the tone of our selection in the early days.

2017 brought the 18 Shades of Gay, an installation in Montreal’s Gay Village that comprised 180,000 rainbow-coloured balls and was about pride and joy. The same year, Claude Cormier Landscape Architecture completed the Berczy Park, which is absolutely delightful, from the fountain to the pavement to the dogs! It seems as if the work of Cormier has been a much-needed reminder to the profession of how to be generous and, above all, how to practice fun!

But it was also more than that. If you look at the photo of Sugar Beach in fog, you may notice how the site effortlessly absorbed the poetics of the shifting atmosphere; suddenly, it reveals another dimension, a responsive quality of space that offers an experiential depth across the seasons and ever-changing situations.

You can see a selection of projects by Claude Cormier on this page. For more projects and the obituary from his colleagues, please visit the CCxA website.

Read a beautifully written in-memoriam by Beth Kapusta (B.Arch), a friend and collaborator of Claude Cormier.

LAM republished an interesting profile of Cormier.

Published on September 18, 2023

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