Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec

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While MNBAQ is programmed as the extension of the existing modern museum complex, it also serves as the threshold between city and park, private and public, as the staggered gallery boxes cantilever to create a grand hall entry facing the city and allows for the park to continue on its roof thru its landscaping.

Date: 2011-05-30

Client: Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec

Program: Museum / Office / Auditorium

Team: By OMA with Luke Willis as Project Architect

Location: Quebec, Canada

Area: 12,000m²

Link:  Click here

 

The new building for the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec – the museum’s fourth building in an increasingly complicated site, 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 new coherence to the MNBAQ.

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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 St-.Dominique church while creating a persuasive presence on Grande-allée? How to clarify the museum’s organization while simultaneously adding to its scale? Our solution was to stack the required new galleries in three volumes of decreasing size – temporary exhibitions (50m x 50m), the permanent modern and contemporary collections (45m x 35m) and design / Inuit exhibits (42.5m x 25m) – to create a cascade ascending from the park towards the city. The building aims to weave together the city, the park and the museum; it is simultaneously an extension of all three.

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 St-.Dominique church while creating a persuasive presence on Grande-allée? How to clarify the museum’s organization while simultaneously adding to its scale? Our solution was to stack the required new galleries in three volumes of decreasing size – temporary exhibitions (50m x 50m), the permanent modern and contemporary collections (45m x 35m) and design / Inuit exhibits (42.5m x 25m) – to create a cascade ascending from the park towards the city. The building aims to weave together the city, the park and the museum; it is simultaneously an extension of all three.

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). 
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). 
The new building connects with the museum’s existing buildings by a passageway rising 8.2m over its 55m length. 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.

The new building connects with the museum’s existing buildings by a passageway rising 8.2m over its 55m length. 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.

The stacking creates a 14m-high Grand Hall, sheltered under a dramatic 20m 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.

The stacking creates a 14m-high Grand Hall, sheltered under a dramatic 20m 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.


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