In recent years, Quebec’s provincial legislature, designed by Eugène-Étienne Taché and completed in 1886, has been in need of revitalization. The addition of a reception pavilion was recommended to improve security systems as well as to allow greater citizen access to the National Assembly, and room for additional parliamentary commission sessions.
The new reception pavilion nestles beneath the building’s monumental staircase, modernizing the herit-age site while preserving the Parliament’s historic façade, with its iconographic depiction of the province’s history. The underground addition includes commission rooms and spaces dedicated to security, reception, services and teaching. It links to an entrance with an elevator, located in the renovated inner courtyard, to allow access to the upper floors.
A 300-metre-long ramp organizes the spaces of the 5,100-square-metre expansion around an agora with a central oculus that provides a view of the National Assembly’s tower. The ramp performs not only as the main circulation element, but also in housing building systems. Its perforated, wood-panelled narrative wall doubles as a mechanical plenum, and the wall’s imagery continues the story of Quebec’s history that begins on the historic façade.
Manon Asselin :: This project is generous yet humble vis-à-vis the original building. As it should, it discreetly adopts a back-ground position as part of the landscape, while at the same time proposing a new way to view the tower. The oculus is an effective and symbolic way to transform the experience of the site while providing underground, essential new services for the public. It is a perennial and timeless addition.
Patricia Patkau :: If you need space around a building, then learning how to knit the structure into the existing context is crucial. The provincial assembly’s forecourt is an instance where the relationship to the site is very carefully orchestrated. New opportunities for the community are uncovered without damaging the representation of the existing building. This is a smart project.
David Sisam :: There is a very delicate assertion to this project that preserves the quality and integrity of the existing build-ing and its forecourt and gardens while adding a substantial amount of area. Though it contains a complex below-ground program, daylight is brought inside by means of a large oculus above and through glazing beneath the grand exterior staircase.
Provencher_Roy and GLCRM Architects
Quebec City, Quebec
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CLIENT Assemblée nationale du Québec
ARCHITECT TEAM Provencher_Roy Architects— Claude Provencher, Matthieu Geoffrion, Nicolas Demers-Stoddard, Daniel Legault, Émilie Banville, Maïda Beylerian, Sami Bouzouita, Marilina Cianci, Maxime Giguère, Fanette Montmartin, Andres Moreno, Frank Murat, Normand Desjardins, Karim Duranceau.
GLCRM Architects— Marc Letellier, Maxime Turgeon, Shirley Gagnon, François Bécotte, Janie Lacoursière, Louis-Xavier Ga-doury, Sarah Landry, Jocelyn Martel, Suzanne Castonguay, Raphaël Hamelin, Réal St-Pierre, Valérie Morin, Vincent Lavoie, Josué Martineau.
STRUCTURAL WSP Canada Inc.
SECURITY CSP Consultants en sécurité Inc.
AREA 5,100 m²
BUDGET $30 M ($35 M construction, overall project budget $65 M)
STATUS Under construction, expected completion 2019/2020