Claude Cormier studied History & Theory of Design at Harvard University, Landscape Architecture at the University of Toronto, Agronomy at the University of Guelph. In 1995 he established the Landscape Architecture firm Claude Cormier et Associés, which has received about 100 awards over the years. The team’s work is distinguished not only for its inventiveness but also its tenacious optimism in the power of design. The firm celebrates manmade nature and is deeply committed to the specific qualities of each site – its natural conditions, its cultural history, its sociology, its politics. It hopes to translate each unique situation into a bold and pleasurable design that will connect with people physically, sensually, and playfully.
The winter garden in Montreal’s Palais des congrès could have been yet another tropical garden in an oversized greenhouse. But instead of trucking in potted plants and fighting against the local climate to keep them alive, we planted a forest of fifty-two concrete trees, painted lipstick-pink to celebrate the city’s flourishing cosmetic industry and manifest Montreal’s inexhaustible joie de vivre.
Patterned after the hundred-year old maples that line the avenues in the old city, our forest is perfectly adapted to the futuristic environment of the Centre. The hand-cast trunks hover between the concrete slabs of floor and ceiling, on a site straddling the buried Ville-Marie expressway. A positive symbol of the reality of nature in our contemporary world, Lipstick Forest might be artificial, but it’s definitely not fake.
[Source: the Artist’s web site]