A recent competition to design the expansion of the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec included many design proposals from some of our favorite architects including the Danish firm, BIG. Although they didn’t win the expansion (OMA did), we actually prefer their design because of their inclusion of a sloping green roof (that people can actually walk on!), large daylighting windows and a sweeping dramatic form.
Currently the museum is located in three structures of varied history, purpose and architectural expression and is far too small for the type of exhibitions the museum would like to host, hence the need to expand. BIG partnered with Fugère Architectes to design a proposal for the museum expansion, which centered around the creation of two large facades conceived as large windows to reveal the ever changing exhibitions inside the museum. Conversely, large amounts of natural daylight filter into the interior and museum visitors get a grand sweeping view of the Parc des Champs-de-bataille and courtyards.
The two main facades rise up opposite each other forming a protected courtyard with the neighboring church and convent. The roof lines connect to the ground and extend the park area onto the building itself, and visitors are able to mill about and walk onto the green roof. On top of all this, old growth trees around the area and the church and convent would be saved and preserved.