Bourgie Hall Chairs – Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Context
Bourgie Hall is located in the nave of the former Erskine and American Presbyterian Church, now part of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. A very special approach had to be been adopted in the design of chairs for this venue, which is now a concert hall, but is also used for various other functions. The 320 seats on the hall floor had to be designed to be moved and arranged quickly at the end of a show in order to allow a quick conversion prior to a different type of event.

 

 

 

 

Country

Canada

City

Montréal

Client

MUSéE DES BEAUX-ARTS DE MONTRéAL

Year

2011

Challenges and Constraints
The objective was to design chairs that are comfortable for sitting for long periods but are easy to align, move and stack. The chairs had to be easy to handle for Museum maintenance staff, who would be responsible for moving and installing them in orderly fashion, aided by brass pellets used as floor markers. Having stackable seats also reduced the space required to store the chairs when no concert was in progress.

Originality
Thanks to magnets installed on both sides of the armrests, facing outward, the seats can be set up easily. The armrests are not parallel, but angled inward 1 degree to the front, so they can automatically be placed in rows along a curve aligned to the stage. This gentle curve, which is constant across the rows, also gives spectators a sense of proximity to the musicians.