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Press kit - Press release - Opening of the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion, MNBAQ - OMA Architecture / Provencher_Roy
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Opening of the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion, MNBAQ

Ville de Québec, Canada

OMA Architecture / Provencher_Roy


Montréal, Canada, 2016-07-05 -

On June 24 took place the inauguration of the new Pierre Lassonde pavilion of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, whose architectural conception started in 2011. It is with a tremendous sense of pride that Provencher_Roy assists to the opening of the doors to this building that imparts a newfound architectural cohesiveness to the Musée and enables Québecers and tourists alike, thanks to a 90% increase in exhibition space, to discover in greater depth the MNBAQ's impressive art collection.


Integrated in an intricate and sensitive environment, the project generated an in-depth reflection about the bond between the Battlefields Park and Québec city, the preservation of the historic Saint-Dominique church, the creation of a persuasive presence on Grande Allée and the harmonious integration of the new pavilion. The 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 pavilion gradually decreases in height as it retreats from the urban turbulence, creating a cascade effect that enables the museum to reach out toward the park at the back while inviting the city in on the front. A 20-metre cantilever announces the main entrance of the Lassonde pavilion. Built using a hybrid steel truss system, it accommodates galleries completely uninterrupted by support columns. The entrance opens out onto an urban plaza that leads to a series of gateways into the galleries, courtyard and auditorium. A monumental spiral staircase of 79 stairs as well as an exterior pop-out staircase of 40 stairs provide spectacular views of the park, the city and the museum. Within the gallery boxes, mezzanines and overlooks link the temporary and permanent exhibition spaces.


With its triple-glazed panels, comprised of a layer of diffuser glass, two layers of fritting and a low-emissivity coating, the building's interior is bathed in light while the façade reflects the surrounding greenery. The fritting's pattern density provides sufficient solar shading to satisfy LEED's mechanical cooling requirements. Thanks to the fritting and diffuser glass, as well as the skylights and carefully curated fenestration, a translucent effect permeates the space, transforming the cultural institution into a natural extension of Battlefields Park.


The new building links to the existing museum complex by a 130.6 meters long passageway. By virtue of the sheer length and change in elevation, the tunnel creates a series of linked rooms with a dramatic range of spatial and lighting conditions. Each of these serves as a distinct gallery condition, a series of spatially diverse yet visually interconnected volumes that lead the visitor, as if by chance, through the complex.


The Lassonde pavilion is being launched with three days of festivities. Commissioned to endow the provincial capital with a world-class building, the consortium of OMA and Provencher_Roy have conceived a superb work of architecture that subtly, perhaps even stealthily, and certainly successfully, strengthens the links between the disparate elements of the site. The structure creates a stunning environment for showcasing the Musée's collections, and beckons visitors to discover art, creativity and local talent, and to celebrate them.

About the MNBAQ

The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is a museum complex unlike any other in Québec, combining art, architecture and nature. The museum’s extensive collection, a benchmark for Québec art, comprises more than 38,000 works, recounting 400 years of history. It includes one of the most important collections of religious art in Québec, the largest collection of Inuit art in Québec, as well as some 9,000 contemporary works: sculptures, engravings, ceramics, photographs, drawings, videos, installations, and digital and media art. 


Known across Canada for the outstanding quality of its built work, Provencher_Roy specializes in architecture, urban planning, interior design, and industrial design. Over the past 30 years, whether designing contemporary projects or remodeling iconic buildings, the firm has had a major impact on Montréal and other Canadian cities. Provencher_Roy has also developed, over the past decades, expertise in giving established institutions a new lease on life. It was a key player in the expansion of the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal (MBAM) and in the metamorphosis of the prestigious Ritz-Carlton Hotel. The firm’s portfolio illustrates its outstanding achievements in the institutional sector, as well as in the fields of science, education and transportation. Provencher_Roy is currently a partner in the design of the future Champlain Bridge, destined to be Montréal’s vibrant new river gateway. Recognized in 2015 as Architectural Firm of the Year by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), the multidisciplinary firm has received countless architecture and urban design awards in Canada and abroad. 

Technical Data Sheet

Musée national des beaux-arts de Québec – Pierre Lassonde Pavilion

CLIENT: Musée national des beaux-arts de Québec

YEAR: 2013 to 2016

STATUS: Completed

CONSORTIUM: OMA* AMO Architecture P.C. / Provencher_Roy Architectes



PROGRAM: Museum, Cultural Institution, Lanscaping

DISCIPLINES: Architecture, Urban Design, Lanscaping, Sustainability

PARTNERS IN CHARGE: Shohei Shigematsu, Jason Long (OMA), Matthieu Geoffrion, Claude Provencher, Michel Roy (Provencher_Roy) 


LANDSCAPING: Paysage Fahey

LIGHTNING : Buro Happold

ACOUSTIC : Legault & Davidson



ART: M. Ludovic Boney "Une cosmologie sans genèse"

DEMOLITION: Tro-Chaines inc.

EXCAVATION: Raoul Pelletier inc.




FACADE ENGINEERING: Patenaude Trempe Inc., Albert Eskenazi, CPA verre structural

AUDITORIUM: Trizart Alliance 

CERTIFICATION SOUGHT: LEED® Certification Candidate ND Silver

AREA: 14 900 m²

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