Grand Library of Québec / Patkau Architects with Croft Pelletier and Menkès Shooner Dagenais architectes associés

© Bernard Fougeres

The Grand Library of Québec consolidates a number of collections dispersed throughout the province to create a resource library for the region as well as a central public library for the city of Montreal. The building contains four major components: a general library, a children’s library, the collection Québécoise (historic documents pertaining to ), and an assortment of public spaces outside the library control zone.

Architects: Patkau Architects in collaboration with Croft Pelletier and Menkès Shooner Dagenais architectes associés
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Client: Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
Project Area: 350, 000 sqf
Project Year: 2005
Photographs: James Dow, Bernard Fougeres, and

© James Dow

The two major library collections, the general library and the collection Québécoise, are housed within large-scale wooden containers on the upper floors. Linking the wood-clad collections to the floors below is a promenade that rises from the library entrance to circumnavigate the general library through a series of reading rooms. Views of the city unfold as the route ascends. Complementing the promenade is an efficient central circulation system.


A glass and copper building envelope represents the library as a whole. Opaque in some places, diaphanous in others, the facade offers enticing glimpses of the library to the city.

© Bernard Fougeres

Patkau Architects Team: Laura Arpiainen, Greg Boothroyd, Stephan Chevalier, Michael Cunningham, Dominique Dumais, Michael Elkan, Samantha Hayes, John Patkau, Patricia Patkau, Peter Suter, Craig Simms, Nick Sully
Croft Pelletier Architectes Team: Marie-Chantal Croft, Eric Pelletier, Jean Chrétien, Benoît Ruelland, Michel Thompson, Olivier Grenier, Cédéanne Simard, Rémi Hovington Jr.
Menkès Shooner Dagenais Team: Yves Dagenais, Gaétan Roy, Stephan Chevalier, Yvon LaChance, Luc Doucet, Dominique Dumais, Catherine Bélanger, Guillaume Delorimier, Luc Montpetit, Mana Hemami, Andrea Macelwee, Alex Parmentier, Christine Giguère, Alain Boudrias, Harvens Piou
Consulting Architect: Gilles Guité architecte
Architectural Support: Jodoin Lamarre Pratte et Associés architectes
Structural Engineer: Regroupement Nicolet Chartrand Knoll Limitée / Les Consultants Géniplus inc.
Mechanical / Electrical Engineer: Regroupement Bouthillette & associés inc / Groupe HBA experts-conseils inc.
Lighting Consultants: NBBJ
Acoustic Consultant: Legault Davidson
Theatre Consultant: Scenoplus
Elevator Consultant: KJA inc.
Building Envelope Consultant: Patenaude Consultants inc.
Code Consultant: Technorm inc.
Landscape Architects: Scheme Consultants
Builder: Hervé Pomerleau inc.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Grand Library of Québec / Patkau Architects with Croft Pelletier and Menkès Shooner Dagenais architectes associés" 09 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 26 May 2015. <>
  • Lucas

    Stunning interior.

  • Waldo van Loggerenberg

    An awesome precedent.