For almost a century, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec has been dedicated to providing a showcase for both local and international artists. The Pierre Lassonde Pavilion was designed to help carry this mission forward for future generations, providing the Musée with a world class building that not only doubles its exhibition space, but also forges a vital physical link with the city beyond.
The Pavilion comprises three tiers, which cascade from the picturesque landscape of National Battlefields Park at the top of the Musée site down to the bustling Grand Allée below, creating a new interface between nature, art and the city.
To enhance this sense of connectivity the Pavilion is encased in glass. Varying from transparent, through translucent, to opaque, the facades open up a visual dialogue between the Musée and its natural and urban surroundings. In our role as lighting designer, BuroHappold Engineering was tasked with devising illuminations that worked with this architectural feature to attract people into the Musée, while also delivering a seamless experience for the visitors inside.
Guided by the varying opacity of the facades, our engineers developed a lighting concept that activates the transparent and translucent tiers by silhouetting visitors within the Pavilion, producing a dynamic tableau that entices passersby to step inside.
During the day, natural light is maximized to create bright and inviting public areas. As evening draws in, ambient lights in the ceiling provide additional illumination. These are also used in the gallery spaces, which are located behind opaque glass to shield the artwork from the harmful glare of direct sunlight.
Our low energy, responsive lighting design works in harmony with the architectural aesthetic of the Musée. It connects the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion with its surroundings, and allows it to transcend them to stand as a bold new addition to the Québec City art district.
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