Montréal: The ville interieure as prototype for the continuous interior

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterProfessional


In Montreal there is a rambling network of passageways that now extends over 35km, most of it underground. Connecting shops, restaurants, malls, subway stations, office buildings, theaters, concert halls, art galleries and museums, conference centers and even public squares, this far from homogeneous set of passages has a long-established identity as an interior city or “ville intérieure.”
A refuge from cold northern winters, its qualities are deeply familiar to Montreal’s citizens. Despite the banality of much of the network, it is a kind of home for its users — as natural, even in its evident artificiality, as the city’s streets above ground. Distributed among the less special spaces, there are episodes associated with infrastructural nodes, public buildings and more openly public interiors that could be called both distinct and even beautiful, compelling both in their appearances and their atmospheres of freedom.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnderground Cities
Subtitle of host publicationNew Frontiers in Urban Living
EditorsPamela Johnston, John Endicott, Nancy F. Lin
Place of PublicationLondon, UK
PublisherLund Humphries
ISBN (Print)978-1-84822-358-5
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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