The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is the primary art museum of Québec and home to diverse collections of works from the province, the whole of Canada, and the world. The museum sits in a park overlooking the St. Lawrence River and the Plains of Abraham, site of a 1759 battle that changed the course of the nation’s history. Allied Works’ proposal for a new 110,000 s.f. pavilion contains new space for temporary exhibition, permanent collection galleries and public assembly.
The main body new pavilion is formed by five interlocking concrete shells that rise from the native bedrock. The form opens to the Grande Allée, Québec’s principal street, serving as a gateway to the museum’s three existing buildings. At the heart of the pavilion, the Grand Hall creates a major new event space for the city and frames views into the galleries above. North facing openings, created by the vaulted forms, provide indirect natural light to the exhibition spaces. The shells cantilever at the ground floor, opening the museum to the park and to a landscaped courtyard between the new pavilion and the neighboring gothic-revival church of St–Dominique.