Cultural Buildings / Museums, Cultural Centres
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal

Montreal firm Jodoin, Lamarre, Pratte & Associés is the architect of the Museum, which inaugurated its building on May 28, 1992.

The Museum takes advantage of the narrow western part of its site to produce an edifice whose strong linearity establishes a close relationship with Jeanne Mance Street and defines a highly significant urban space. Two large skylights emerge from the superposition of rectangular volumes that recall the character of Maisonneuve Hall. From Saint Catherine Street, setbacks open the view toward Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier while giving impetus to a movement that steers the visitor toward both the Museum entrance and the esplanade, recently re-landscaped as an urban park.

Its architectural character establishes a dialogue with Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier by making use of the colonnade that thereby incorporates the notion of time. The rhythmical pace of the columns affirms the civic nature of the Museum on Jeanne Mance Street, balances the opacity of its façades and creates an accompanying rhythm for the pedestrian walking from the new subway edicule on Jeannne Mance toward Saint Catherine Street.

Its exterior language is current and provides an overall continuity with the two existing Place des Arts architectural structures by using materials that harmonize with them, such as untreated copper, tinted glass and pre-cast concrete.

The functions of the Museum are spread over a total area of 15,100 m2, covering six floors and a basement, whose hub is the open, light-filled three-storey circular hall. From the hall, a stairway leads to the upper floor where the exhibition rooms are located. Their proportions and layout were carefully studied to offer very characterized spaces providing varied perspectives. In the centre is the restaurant accommodating seventy patrons who can look out over the redesigned site and the city. A boutique and a versatile theatre establish a link with the Place des Arts' Salle des pas perdus (Hall of lost steps). A sculptural garden, accessible from the temporary exhibition rooms, is arranged in continuity with the new exterior environmental design of the esplanade that forms a large urban park in the heart of the city.

The Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, the only one of its kind in Canada, is located in a building with a strong and dynamic architectural composition that asserts the Museum's presence in the urban fabric and expresses the vitality of contemporary art.

185 Sainte-Catherine West, Montreal (Quebec) Canada
H2X 3X5
(514) 847-6226
(514) 847-6291

  © 2005 IDM, Institute of Design Montréal Design: NORDIC design | communicationPhotos: Éliane Brodeur