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Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Canada, by OMA

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[FIRST LOOK] The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), has won the competition for a 12,000m² expansion to the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ)

The new building, a cascade of three overlapping boxes at the juncture of downtown Quebec City and the historic Battlefields Park, will be OMA’s first built project in Canada.

The winner was announced today by MNBAQ President Pierre Lassonde and the Quebec Minister of Culture, Mme. Christine St-Pierre. The design, led by OMA partners Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas in collaboration with associate Jason Long, was chosen unanimously from five submissions.

OMA’s expansion of MNBAQ – linked underground with the museum’s three existing buildings – is located on Quebec’s main promenade, Grande-Allée, adjacent to St. Dominique Church. The design aims to integrate the building with the surrounding park and initiate new links with the city.

Three stacked galleries of decreasing size – housing contemporary exhibitions (50m by 50m), the permanent contemporary collection (45m by 35m) and design / Inuit exhibits (42.5m by 25m) – ascend from the park towards the city, forming a cantilever towards the Grande-Allée and a 14m-high Grand Hall, welcoming the public into the new building.

Shohei Shigematsu commented: ‘Our ambition is to create a dramatic new presence for the city, while maintaining a respectful, even stealthy approach to the museum’s neighbours and the existing museum. The resulting form of cascading gallery boxes enhances the museum experience by creating a clarity in circulation and curation while allowing abundant natural light into the galleries.’

The project will be executed by OMA’s New York office in collaboration with Provencher Roy + Associés Architectes, with a completion date of 2013.

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