Beats four other firms for first project in Canada
The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), has won the competition for a major expansion to the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ).
The 12,000 sq. m. new building, a cascade of three overlapping boxes at the juncture of downtown Quebec City and the historic Battlefields Park, will be OMA’s first built project in Canada.
MNBAQ President Pierre Lassonde and the Quebec Minister of Culture, Mme. Christine St-Pierre announced OMA’s wining design toady. The design, led by OMA partners Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas in collaboration with associate Jason Long, was selected from five submissions by architecture firms.
OMA’s expansion of MNBAQ – linked underground with the museum’s three existing buildings – is located on Quebec’s main promenade, Grande-Allée, adjacent to St. Dominique Church. The design aims to integrate the building with the surrounding park and initiate new links with the city. Three stacked galleries of decreasing size – housing contemporary exhibitions (50m x 50m), the permanent contemporary collection (45m x 35m) and design / Inuit exhibits (42.5m x 25m) – ascend from the park towards the city, forming a cantilever towards the Grande-Allée and a 14m-high Grand Hall, which will be the public entrance to the new building.
“Our ambition is to create a dramatic new presence for the city, while maintaining a respectful, even stealthy approach to the museum’s neighbors and the existing museum,” said Shohei Shigematsu. “The resulting form of cascading gallery boxes enhances the museum experience by creating a clarity in circulation and curation while allowing abundant natural light into the galleries.”
The project will be run from OMA’s New York office in collaboration with Provencher Roy + Associés Architectes, with an anticipated completion date of fall 2013.
The other firms on the short list were:
• Barkow Leibinger Architekten/Imrey Culbert Architects, Berlin and New York
• Brière, Gilbert et Associés/Nieto Sobejano, Montreal, Quebec
• Fichten Soiferman et Associés Architectes/Allied Works Architecture, Montreal, Quebec
• Groupe ARCOP/David Chipperfield Architects, London, England