Major art museum extension by OMA underway in Quebec

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Major art museum extension by OMA underway in Quebec

OMA's New York office is almost doubling the size of Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts with a new building in the city's Parc des Champs-de-Bataille (+ slideshow).

Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA

Due to open in June 2016, the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion is set to increase the 83-year-old museum's exhibition space by 90 per cent.

The 14,900-square-metre building is designed as a contemporary gateway to the museum's existing campus in the centrally located park, close to the St Lawrence River.

Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA

The project is the first in Canada by the Dutch firm's North American branch, which is led by architect Sho Shigematsu, and is a collaboration with Montreal studio Provencher_Roy.

Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA

It comprises a trio of glazed blocks with varying opacities, which rise in stepped tiers from the park to the street. A protruding diagonal cuboid will contain a staircase to connect the upper two levels.

Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA

"Our design stacked three gallery volumes in a cascade that continues the topography of the park," said Shigematsu. "The activity of the city extends below, providing a new point of interface between the city and the park."

Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA

The building will present a transparent facade to Quebec's lively Grande Allée, where a new public plaza will also be created.

Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA

The outdoor space will be partially sheltered by the 26.5-metre cantilever of the top tier, which will also sit above a Grand Hall measuring 12.5 metres in height.

Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA

A 130-metre subterranean passageway will connect the street to the museum's three existing buildings behind.

Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA

Inside the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion, column-free galleries will host installations from the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. An auditorium, a café and a museum store will also feature.

Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA

A "monumental" spiral staircase will rise through the structure, connecting the various volumes and mezzanine levels. The exterior "pop-out" stair will provide visitors with views of the park, the city and the rest of the museum.

On top of each volume, roof terraces will provide space for outdoor displays and activities.

Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA

"Art becomes a catalyst that allows the visitor to experience all three core assets – park, city, and museum – at the same time," Shigematsu said.

The Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec aims to preserve and promote both ancient and contemporary Québécois art, as well as showcase international art in the city.

Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA

It will inaugurate the new building with five exhibitions showcasing its collections, including a display of Inuit art.

"We are delighted to be only weeks away from welcoming the public into this brilliantly conceived design by OMA, which will do so much to help us celebrate the art and artists of Quebec," said Pierre Lassonde, chair of the museum's board of directors.

Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA

"With this beautifully functioning and symbolically important addition, our museum now rises to a new level of service for the people of Quebec City, and a new prominence for visitors from around the world."

Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA

OMA New York was established in 2001 as an outpost of the Rotterdam-based firm founded by architect Rem Koolhaas. Its completed projects include the Seattle Central Library, and stores for fashion brand Prada in New York and Los Angeles.

Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA

The office is also set to open the Faena Forum cultural centre in Miami Beach this year, and has recently announced its first building in Manhattan.

Photography is by Iwan Baan.

Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA
Concept diagram one – click for larger image
Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA
Concept diagram two – click for larger image
Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA
Basement plan – click for larger image
Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA
First floor plan – click for larger image
Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA
Second floor plan – click for larger image
Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA
Roof plan – click for larger image
Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA
Long section – click for larger image
Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA
Cross section one – click for larger image
Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA
Cross section two – click for larger image
Extension to Quebec's Musée National des Beaux-Arts by OMA
Cross section three – click for larger image