Architecture    Culture   
MMFA – Claire and Marc Bourgie pavilion of Quebec and Canadian Art

At a time when conserving religious heritage is a challenge worldwide, this architectural intervention is fine example of such conservation. It has been lauded repeatedly for its profound architectural motivation, its exceptional urban integration and a design combining past and future.

In addition to restoration of the former Erskine and American Church, which has been converted into a 444-seat concert hall, the Bourgie Hall at the rear has been completely rebuilt, making way for the new six-storey, 2000 m2 building and its contemporary style. The exercise posed a challenge in terms of integration. On one hand, it required finding a fit with a diverse built environment and, and on the other, grafting one building onto the other, one being a site of national historic significance and the other exhibiting a contemporary construction and language.








Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal

Surface Area

5 483 m²






Enerpro / Le Groupe Conseil Berman inc.


Nicolet Chartrand Knoll ltée




Legault & Davidson


Go Multimédia

Other Collaborators

DFS Architecture & Design


Marc Cramer, Tom Arban

Natural dialogue with the city
Thanks to its simplicity and permeability, regardless of the level from which you look out, glazed openings allow views of the city and, especially below, the Museum’s Sculpture Garden, forming a strip of works of public art alongside the pavilion.

Dialogue with the church
The new pavilion does not just share its entrance and reception areas with the former religious building. It also evokes the building’s spirit, both in its elevation, extended by an opening toward the sky, and by the presence of alcoves subtly placed around the exhibition spaces.

Dialogue with the museum complex
To complete the integration of the pavilion into its environment, the architects chose to link it, both physically and metaphorically, to the other pavilions that make up the Museum. In addition to the physical link created by a 45-metre long underground passage under Sherbrooke Street lined with monumental works, the Bourgie Pavilion is symbolically integrated into the museum complex by a reinterpretation of the white marble used for the façades of the 1912 Michal and Renata Hornstein 1991 Jean-Noël Desmarais pavilions. The architects enveloped the new pavilion in a wall made of marble from the same quarry in Vermont as its two predecessors, reproducing the image of the material in its original state, with the lines of its veins running along the façade like a gigantic 4-storey high block of carved marble.



Urban Architecture Award / 2014 National Urban Design Awards of RAIC, Architecture Canada, Canadian Institute of Planners, Canadian Society of Landscape Architects


Thomas-Baillairgé Award, Amélioration du cadre architectural et culturel Category, Ordre des Architectes du Québec


Design of Excellence, Retrofit / Historic Preservation Project Category, Ontario Association of Architects


Architectural integration Award, Patrimonial Special Awards Category, Montréal Architectural Heritage campaign


Project of the year, Hardsurface Awards, Terrazzo, Tile & Marble Association of Canada


Architecture Award, Hardsurface Awards - Natural stone category, Terrazzo, Tile & Marble Association of Canada


Project of the year, Grands Prix du Design 2011


Architecture Award / Public Space Category, Grands Prix du Design 2011


Award of Excellence, Commercial Real Estate Category, Canadian Urban Institute


Awards of Merit, Canadian Architect

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