April 11, 2007
by Canadian Architect
The winning design in an international competition, the 350,000-square-foot Grande Bibliothque houses two major collections for Quebec, the Collection qubcoise and the Collection universelle. These collections are housed within large wooden containers, and are accessed from an architectural promenade that rises upward from the entrance of the library through a series of reading rooms.
The public library consolidates collections dispersed throughout he province to create a resource library for the region and a central public library for the city of Montreal. At 400,000 square feet, the building contains four major components: a general library, a childrens library, the Collection Nationale (historic documents pertaining to Quebec), and assortment of public spaces. Below grade, the library is joined to a major intersection in the Montreal metro system.
At once urban, human-scaled and extraordinarily open, the building succeeds by its exquisite use of materials and detailing both inside and outside, said the jury. There is a peaceful, tranquil feel that provides a welcome contrast to its grand urban gesture, masterfully executed.
The building opened in Spring 2005, and is featured in the monograph Patkau Architects, recently published by the Monacelli Press. The Architect of Record for the project is a team comprised of Patkau Architects, Croft Pelletier architectes and Menks Shooner Dagenais architectes associs.
Please see the March 2006 issue of Canadian Architect for a thorough review of the building.