Big + Fugére Architectes Musée National des Beaux-Arts Expansion Proposal Print
Tuesday, 20 April 2010 09:51

Earlier this month, we featured OMA's winning project to the expansion of the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec (MNBAQ). Another proposal that we found quite interesting was developed by BIG jointly with Fugère Architectes.
The Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec houses extensive collections of historic and contemporary art and hosts major traveling exhibitions from across the globe. At present, the museum is located in three existing structures of varied history, purpose and architectural expression, but its small size has limited the scope of exhibitions it can mount.

QNM_Image-by-BIG_02According to BIG, the proposal is conceived as an open framework for exhibitions. The two main facades are conceived as gigantic windows revealing the changing content inside. In reverse the museum visitors will be able to enjoy the fantastic panorama of the Parc des Champs-de-bataille as well as the rare elevation of the church and convent courtyard on the opposite side. Visitors will enter along Quebec’s Grande Allé into the underside of the tilted volume of the new edition to the generous lobby underneath. This loft like space of industrial proportions in principle stretches all the way to the Charles Baillargé, hosting all the facilities related to ticketing, information, shop, art-café etc. BIG proposes to expand and open the connections between the pavilions, transforming the museum complex into an integrated network of generous galleries rather than a cluster of distant rooms linked with tunnels.

Sloped roof

To respond to the multiple demands and desires of the historical, urban and functional context, the architects tilted the box, wanting to create an intuitive connection between street and museum as well as church courtyard and park. The new pavilion is designed to complete the convent, preserve the centenary trees while opening both courtyard and museum visually towards the park. As the architects explained, the tilted volume encloses the courtyard while opening up to the park. The simple form and choice of materials reflect a local sensibility , while the gesture of diving under the street transforms the simple stack of galleries into an abstract sculpture.

Visual Connection
05_QNM_Diagram-by-BIG_Tunnel_03Tunnel circulation

At the middle of the concourse where the roof of the tilted pavilion touches the ground the main space opens up towards the sky revealing a cascade of art galleries from the top to the bottom – where the biggest gallery for temporary exhibitions continues all the way to connect with the existing museum. Essentially a big open skylit space for public life and changing exhibitions topped of with a stack of galleries overlooking the park. "Our proposal for the new pavilion has been an exploration of these paradoxes" BIG comments. "We propose to incorporate every single concern into the project exploring the freedom that lies within the confines of ancient courtyards, underground connections and the rootzones of the trees. Rather than leading to the lowest common denominator or compromise, these contradicting demands and opposing forces have skewed and battered the building into an alternative yet familiar form."
Project credits

Client: Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
Collaborators: Fugère Architectes, Arup AGU, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol
Total Area: 10.000 m2
Location: Québec City, Qc
: Partner-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels. Project Leader: Thomas Christoffersen. Team: Gabrielle Nadeau, Brian Yang, Stanley Lung, Daniel Sundlin, Sung Ming Lee, Alvaro Garcia Mendive, Gaëtan Brunet.
Fugère Architectes: Claude Fugère, Jesse Barrette, Jonathan Aubin
Gustafson Guthrie Nichol: Kathryn Gustafson, Kelly Majewski, Amy Cragg
ARUP AGU: Daniel Bosia, Nicolas Sterling


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Last Updated on Thursday, 26 May 2011 10:48