The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is opening the doors of its Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace for the first time. Opening officially in November 2016, it will be part of the legacy of Montreal’s 375th anniversary. The architectural quality of the pavilion, built by the consortium of Atelier TAG and Jodoin Lamarre Pratte Architectes, two Montreal architectural firms chosen by competition in 2013, bolsters Montreal’s status as a UNESCO city of design.
AN ARCHITECTURE OPENED TO THE CITY | FROM THE RIVER TO THE MOUNTAIN
The Pavilion for Peace is clad in a lacework designed to emphasize the two‐part massing by enveloping the whole in a delicate veil. It looks onto the city, with its Victorian buildings and maritime and natural heritage, and offers panoramic views from the river to the mountain. Behind the porous stone surface, the ensemble appears to be a unique and coherent levitating structure that is also mutable, assuming a different appearance with every change of daylight. At nightfall, its nocturnal persona emerges. The light from the galleries emits a soft glow that seems to dissolve the lacework, rendering visible the activity taking place in the event stairway and revealing the warmth of the wood interior to the city.
The new pavilion meets all international standards for museum design and conservation. It will house the Museum’s international collection, from the old masters to modern art — unique in Quebec — enriched by the Hornsteins’ exceptionally generous gift of seventy‐five works. It will also make it possible to better integrate Ben Weider’s Napoleonic collection, as well as the modern art collection, from Rodin to Picasso, the only one of its kind in Quebec and a favourite with visitors.
Two levels of the new building will be devoted to education and art therapy, which will help the Museum pursue its goal of being a mainstay of the community and its collective identity. The Atelier will welcome community and school clienteles as well as families, with areas earmarked for hands‐on digital activities, a lunch area, a family lounge, galleries, a safe bus drop‐off area and twelve workshops spaces.