Manon Asselin Architect and Jodoin Lamarre Pratte Architects are the winners of the architectural competition for the the architectural project for the MMFA’s future Fifth Pavilion to Montreal.
The Museum’s new international art pavilion will be built on Bishop Street, to the south of the Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion and linked to the latter by an aerial bridge over the alleyway. It will comprise an entrance for adult, school and community groups that will contribute to the liveliness of Bishop Street.
The Museum’s fifth pavilion will conform in every respect to international standards for museum design and conservation. In addition to displaying the collection of international art, it will house educational facilities, thus affirming the MMFA’s commitment to its roots in the community and its identification with its public. With this in mind, the concept proposed will consist of a socio-spatial construction, a staircase that leads visitors an architectural journey.
This suspended space enlivens the frontage on Bishop Street and gives visitors a moment’s pause to gaze out of the galleries and experience the cityscape and community life outside of the walls of the MMFA. A meandering stroll through the light-filled galleries of the pavilion provides unbeatable views of the mountain.
Manon Asselin Architect and Jodoin Lamarre Pratte Architects in consortium have envisaged this building as a place to bring new magic to the discovery of a museum, especially for young people, through a personal, informal and welcoming experience. From Bishop Street visitors to the Fifth Pavilion will see a building that looks smaller than it is.
This impression, created by the dynamic juxtaposition of the two sections of the building, will offer a coherent view of the contingent cityscape. The Fifth Pavilion will be clad in a lacework of limestone designed to make it fit in with the Victorian heritage architecture adjacent to it. Behind the porous stone surface, the pavilion will be an original, coherent and graceful structure that will appear different with every change of daylight.
After sunset, it will take on a nocturnal magic. The light from the galleries will provide a soft background glow that will dissolve the stone lacework and highlights the activity taking place on the staircase. The warm colour of the wood can be seen against the city background. Through this fretwork, visitors will perceive all the different aspects of the lobby and the vertical transition space between the liveliness of the street scene and that of the museum spaces.
The staircase won’t be just a useful space for circulation but a relaxing space designed for sauntering. The concept shows a real concern for durable development and respect for the built heritage with the use of familiar local stone. The stone cladding, prefabricated from small modules, demonstrates an optimization of natural resources and a remarkable economy of means.