Future Espace Riopelle at MNBAQ: Architectural Design Competition Finalists Revealed

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QUEBEC CITY, May 19, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ - The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ) is moving a step closer to the realization of the future Espace Riopelle with the unveiling of the candidates selected by the jury to move on to the final stage of the architectural design competition launched last March.

Photo: © Bruce Damonte (CNW Group/Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec)
Photo: © Bruce Damonte (CNW Group/Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec)

The four Quebec and international groups selected are: Agence Spatiale and BGLA, CCM2 and BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), FABG, as well as STGM in collaboration with Cobe.

Renowned Finalists

Agence Spatiale + BGLA

During its 46 years of existence, BGLA has carried out several major projects. The firm brings a know-how putting forward technique and performance, especially in multiple heritage building projects. BGLA was

one of the four finalists selected as part of the architectural design competition conducted for MNBAQ's Pierre Lassonde pavilion inaugurated in 2016. Amongst its recent achievements in the museum field are the award-winning project of the Musée de la Gaspésie, in Gaspé, as well as the expansion of the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

Founded by Étienne Bernier, Agence Spatiale was awarded the Prix Relève en architecture in 2021. Its creative approach revolves around a distinctive signature where design and performance are at the center of its projects. Since its foundation, the agency has carried out several institutional, commercial, as well as residential projects. The agency particularly stood out in 2020 with the redesign project of Quebec City's Château Laurier hotel, for which it was awarded two prizes, including a Grand Prix du Design.


Since its establishment in 1963, CCM2 has been one of the most important architecture firms in the Capitale-Nationale region. The energy that drives its team, combined with its creativity and constant quest for innovative ideas, has enabled the firm to establish itself as a leader in the field of architecture in Quebec. Over the past 60 years, CCM2 has achieved nearly 1,500 projects worth more than $2 billion in construction across the province.

BIG is made up of a group of architects, designers and creators working in the fields of architecture, urban planning, research and development. The agency has offices in Copenhagen, New York, London and Barcelona. BIG has built its reputation on its capacity to achieve innovative projects from a programmatic and technical point of view, mindful of limiting costs and required resources. Amongst the firm's recent achievements in the world are the Audemars Piguet Museum, the Kistefos Museum, the Smithsonian Institute, the Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées, NOMA 2.0, the Tirpitz Museum, the Danish Maritime Museum as well as the Shenzhen Energy Mansion in China.


Founded in Montreal in 2011, FABG is renowned for the quality of its achievements, which have earned it some fifty awards and recognitions in recent years. Led by Éric Gauthier, winner of the Ernest-Cormier Prize awarded by the Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications, the firm has led the realization of technically and environmentally innovative projects such as the Cirque du Soleil's headquarters, the head office of the Caisse de dépot et placement du Québec (in collaboration with Lemay), the Théâtre de Quat'sous and the Verdun Auditorium.

The firm was recently awarded the Ordre des architectes du Québec's Grand Prix d'excellence for the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve's new paddocks, for which the firm carried out research on the use of solid wood structures.

In the sector of museums, FABG completed the transformation of the Musée d'art de Joliette, the restoration of the Stewart Museum, the transformation of Buckminster Fuller's former United States pavilion at Expo 67 into an environment museum (the Biosphère), as well as the repurposing of former warehouses in Montreal's Old Port to create a science museum.

STGM in collaboration with Cobe

Since 2001, STGM has been one of the most important integrated design architecture firms in Quebec. Its team is made up of more than 150 architects and professionals whose mission is to improve people's quality of life, one project at a time. The firm has diversified expertise in planning, design, building code compliance and building envelope. It also offers a wide range of services including heritage building and transportation architecture.

Cobe is an award-winning architecture firm established in Denmark by architect Dan Stubbergaard in 2006. Through the years, Cobe has grown into an international hub of over 150 dedicated architects, interior designers, landscape architects and urban planners. Based in Copenhagen, Cobe has played a major role in transforming the Danish capital into a thriving and accessible city designed for urban life. The firm has contributed to the realization of metro stations, bike paths, green spaces and public squares in urban environments. It also has transformed industrial areas and designed seaside boardwalks, as well as residential, office and cultural buildings.

An Exceptional Jury

Made up of seven experts from various areas such as architecture, heritage building preservation, museology and the arts, the jury is chaired by distinguished French architect Dominique Jakob, co-founder of renowned architecture firm Jakob + MacFarlane. Founded in 1992 in Paris, the firm is behind projects that have won numerous international awards such as Les Docks, cité de la mode et du design in Paris; Lyon's Orange Cube; Pompidou Centre's Georges restaurant; the Renault Communication Centre in Boulogne-Billancourt; as well as the Euronews' world headquarters.

The full list of jury members and their biographies are available herehttps://www.mnbaq.org/a-propos/agrandissement-du-musee.

Final Concept Unveiling

In the second phase of the architectural design competition, the four selected groups will be asked to develop their functional solution, while taking into consideration the project's requirements as well as its technical and budgetary constraints.

Once this exercice will be completed, the jury will select the proposal that best meets the project's needs and excellence criteria. The winning firm will be announced at the end of the summer of 2022, just in time for the launch of Jean Paul Riopelle's centenary celebrations.

In collaboration with the Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation's team, MNBAQ will complete the creative stages by conducting an integrated design process.

MNBAQ Building The Future

This major $42.5 million project will become a reality thanks to a unique partnership between the Government of Québec, MNBAQ and the Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation. The Government of Québec is contributing $20  million for the creation of Espace Riopelle, to which is added an exceptional donation from patrons of the Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation of $20 million for the construction of the new pavilion. The MNBAQ Foundation has also committed $2.5 million to the project thanks to the contribution of the private sector. A major fundraising campaign will also be launched in the summer of 2022, amongst other fundraising activities, to raise funds and promote this large-scale project. The inauguration of Espace Riopelle, scheduled for 2025, will be the culmination of the celebrations surrounding Jean Paul Riopelle's centenary. The building will permanently house the world's largest public collection of Riopelle works, enhanced last December thanks to a historic donation of collections worth over $100 million from Riopelle Foundation founders.

The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is a State Corporation subsidized by the Government of Québec.

SOURCE Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec


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