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  7. Pierre Lassonde Pavilion at the Musée National des Beaux-arts du Québec / OMA

Pierre Lassonde Pavilion at the Musée National des Beaux-arts du Québec / OMA

  • 10:30 - 23 June, 2016
Pierre Lassonde Pavilion at the Musée National des Beaux-arts du Québec / OMA
Pierre Lassonde Pavilion at the Musée National des Beaux-arts du Québec / OMA, © Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

© Bruce Damonte © Bruce Damonte © Bruce Damonte © Bruce Damonte + 46

  • Architects

  • Location

    Parc des Champs-de-Bataille, Québec City, Canada
  • Category

  • Project

    Expansion of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ)
  • Lead Design Architect

    OMA (New York)
  • Partner-in-Charge

    Shohei Shigematsu
  • Associate Architect

    Provencher_Roy Architectes (Montreal)
  • Client

    Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
  • Area

    14900.0 m2
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

  • Team (OMA)

    Jason Long, Ceren Bingol, Patrick Hobgood, Luke Willis, Rami Abou-Khalil, Richard Sharam, Tsuyoshi Nakamoto, Sandy Yum, Sara Ines Ruas, Ted Lin, Markus von Dellingshausen, Andy Westner, Jackie Woon Bae, Carly Dean with Sue Lettieri, Michael Jefferson, Mathieu Lemieux Blanchard, Martin Raub, Demar Jones, Cass Nakashima, Rachel Robinson
  • Team (Provencher_Roy Architectes)

    Michel Roy, Claude Provencher, Pascal Lessard, Jonathan Audet, Réal Baril, Anik Bastien-Thouin, Mélanie Caron, Véronique De Bellefeuille, Konstantin Demin, Danielle Dewar, Daniel Legault, Layla MacLeod, Sonia Mailloux, Guillaume Martel-Trudel, Céline Coralie Mertenat, Katell Meuric, Fanette Montmartin, Franck Murat, Audrey Piché Mandeville
  • Structure

    SNC Lavalin
  • MEP

    Bouthillette Parizeau / Teknika HBA
  • Code

  • Acoustics

    Legault & Davidson
  • Vertical Transport

  • Cost Control

    CHP Inc.
  • Lighting

    Buro Happold
  • Façade Design

  • Façade Engineering

    Patenaude Trempe, Inc., Albert Eskenazi, CPA structural Glass
  • Auditorium

    Trizart Alliance
  • Local Advisor (Competition)

    Luc Lévesque
  • Contractor

  • More Specs Less Specs
© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

Text description provided by the architects. The Pierre Lassonde Pavilion—the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec's fourth building is interconnected yet disparate—is a subtly ambitious, even stealthy, addition to the city. Rather than creating an iconic imposition, it forms new links between the park and the city, and brings coherence to the MNBAQ.


The intricate and sensitive context of the new building generated the central questions underpinning the design: How to extend Parc des Champs-de-Bataille while inviting the city in? How to respect and preserve Saint Dominique church while creating a persuasive presence on Grande Allée? How to clarify the museum's organization while simultaneously adding to its scale?OMA’s solution was to stack the required new galleries in three volumes of decreasing size to house temporary exhibitions, permanent modern and contemporary collections, and Decorative Arts and design, as well as Inuit artworks, creating a cascade ascending from the park towards the city. The building aims to weave together the city, the park and the museum as an extension of all three simultaneously.

© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte
Ground Level Plan
Ground Level Plan
© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

While they step down in section, the gallery boxes step out in plan, framing the existing courtyard of the church cloister and orienting the building towards the park. The park spills into the museum (through skylights and carefully curated windows) and the museum into the park (though the extension of exhibitions to the terraces and the outdoor pop-out staircase).

© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

The stacking creates a 12.6m-high (42 ft) Grand Hall, sheltered under a dramatic 20m (66 ft) large cantilever. The Grand Hall serves as an interface to the Grande Allée, an urban plaza for the museum's public functions, and a series of gateways into the galleries, courtyard and auditorium.

© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

The cantilevered structure is supported by a hybrid steel truss system and accommodates galleries uninterrupted by columns. The layered façade is simultaneously structural, thermal and solar, addressing the seemingly contradictory needs of natural light and thermal insulation for Québec’s harsh winter climate. The triple layered glass façade is composed of a 2D printed frit that pattern mimics the truss structure, a 3D embossed glass, and a layer of diffuser glass. In the galleries, insulated walls are located behind the translucent glass system, with a gap between that lights the building at night like a lantern in the park. The Grand Hall is enclosed by a glass curtain wall with glass fins that allow virtually unobstructed and inviting views to the Charles Baillairgé pavilion through a glass wall and ceiling. The contrast between the translucent gallery boxes and clear grand hall reinforces the reading of the building’s stacking and cantilevering massing.


Complementing the quiet reflection of the gallery spaces, a chain of programs along the museum’s edge—foyers, lounges, shops, bridges, gardens—offer a hybrid of activities, art and public promenades. Along the way, orchestrated views from a monumental spiral stair and an exterior pop out stair reconnect the visitor with the park, the city, and the rest of the museum. Within the boxes, mezzanines and overlooks link the temporary and permanent exhibition spaces. On top of each of the gallery boxes, roof terraces provide space for outdoor displays and activities.

© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

New exhibition spaces are connected to the museum's existing buildings by a 130m (427 ft) long passageway, creating a permanent home for the museum’s 40m (132 ft) "Hommage à Rosa Luxemburg" by Jean-Paul Riopelle. Through its sheer length and changes in elevation, the passage creates a surprising mixture of gallery spaces that lead the visitor, as if by chance, to the rest of the museum complex.


OMA wins competition for the Beaux Arts Museum in Quebec expansion

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Cite: "Pierre Lassonde Pavilion at the Musée National des Beaux-arts du Québec / OMA" 23 Jun 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
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