Last month I the opportunity to go to the Joliette metro station. As you might have suspected, I found it very cool (the general critical consensus is that it isn’t all that hot). Finished, just in time for the 1976 Olympics, it was one of two metro stations designed by Marcel Raby. M. Raby was an architect for the city of Montreal and the only other thing that I can find that he worked on was the dome of Marché Bonsecours in 1978 after it had had a fire. But my guess would be there is lots more, it’s just not on the internet.
While quite a lot of people don’t like the yellow bricks and the rather pedestrian nature of the buildings. I was enchanted by the color on a gray and snowy day. And just about pee’d my pants in delight when I discovered the back entrance which leads to an alleyway (ruelle in Montreal-speak).
I was particularly enamored of the bright red/pink tile walls and matching seats. I betcha dollars to doughnuts that M. Raby was a fan of Pop and Op art. After 35 years, some of the brightness has faded, but nonetheless.
I’ve now become particularly fond of these types of views in the metro. Some are better than others. This one is particularly fetching due to the size of the empty space above the escalators and the symmetry of the concrete beams.
Sorry that I couldn’t get this straighter, each time I tried, I got dizzy.
That red/pink tile wall is awesome!
But this was what took my breath away. Thème des mouvements du soleil by Marcel Raby. The art embedded into a stainless stell wall of the station. Some kind of glass and resin combination with lights behind. Obviously, 35 years on, some of the lights are no longer working. Yes, it is simplistic, but it is also joyous, bright and colorful. The neighborhood where Métro Joliette is located is gray and dreary even on the brightest summer day. This makes everything better. If I had to use Métro Joliette, each time I passed it, guaranteed, I would get some some sort of goofy ear to ear grin.
I could foam at the mouth for hours on end as to how the residents of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve have been systematically denied any kick-ass art (there is only one amazing sculpture in the whole borough that I know of. And two others have have been neutered to the point where they are (or were) irrelevant). But I won’t. There is a time and a place for everything.
OK, maybe the critics are right, the platforms are dull. But at most you’re only going to spend 12 minutes on one – after midnight on a weekday – and most of the time it’ll be less than seven minutes.