Architecture    Culture   
Michal et Renata Hornstein Pavilion – Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Noth-South underground link between Michal et Renata Hornstein Pavilion and Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion

To improve the movement of visitors between the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion, built in 1912 and located on the north side of Sherbrooke street, and the Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion, located on the south side of the street, the Museum installed in 1999 a fluid, functional system of vertical circulation connected to the tunnel beneath Sherbrooke street.

A glass wall rises three levels, embracing the escalators and elevators located in the middle of the space in a semi-transparent envelope; the dynamic, luminous sculptured form conveys a sense of the museum’s nobility and prestige. This wall, separated from the exterior walls and ceiling of the main floor, rises through the floors, offering an interplay of transparency and reflection, affording a view of the entire room and filtering natural light from the restored tall windows.

Working on the underpinnings of the original 1912 building was often a challenge during the installation of the structural, mechanical and electrical systems. The operation was carried out in a manner that respected the building’s historic and heritage character.







Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal

Surface Area

850 m²








Dessau Soprin


Michel Brunelle

Other projects at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts:

  • 1995-1996: Development of the concept created by Frank O. Gehry for the installation of the Museum of Decorative Arts (1,200 m²) within the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts;
  • 1985-2006: Several feasibility studies and architectural programs as well as various renovation, refurbishment and alteration works;
  • 1985-1992: Several renovation projects, including the reopening of the main doors, the redevelopment of the hall and the library, and the transformation of the former School of Fine Arts into an administrative pavilion;
  • 1983: Expansion and transformation of the restoration and conservation laboratories for paper, fabrics (500 m²) and photos (100 m²).
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