Canadian Architect

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RAIC Awards – Architectural Firm

Founded by architects Claude Provencher and Michel Roy in 1983, Montreal-based Provencher_Roy has established a reputation for innovation.

May 1, 2015
by Canadian Architect

montreal museum of fine arts addition by provencher_roy

Recent work for the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts involved converting a church into a concert hall and creating a new pavilion to showcase Quebec and Canadian Art. Photo by Marc Cramer

Founded by architects Claude Provencher and Michel Roy in 1983, Montreal-based Provencher_Roy has established a reputation for innovation. A dominant player in Canada, Provencher_Roy today is a multidisciplinary firm offering architecture, urban and industrial design services, as well as expertise in urban planning, interior design and sustainable development. The firm has more than 150 dedicated professionals practicing around the world. Over the years, they have amassed over 70 prizes and awards in recognition of the excellence of its projects in Quebec, Canada and abroad. It has deep roots in the community, and is known for the consistently high quality of its projects, the dedication of its team, and its commitment to its home city of Montreal.

Completed by Dan Hanganu and Provencher_Roy, Mariners’ House is the fifth pavilion in Montreal’s Pointe-à-Callière museum complex. Photo by Stéphane Groleau

Completed by Dan Hanganu and Provencher_Roy, Mariners’ House is the fifth pavilion in Montreal’s Pointe-à-Callière museum complex. Photo by Stéphane Groleau

The firm’s ethos takes heritage considerations to heart, and successfully blends this with a resolutely contemporary approach, seeking to create an architecture that fits harmoniously with its environment. “A good project,” says Claude Provencher, “is one that contributes something to the city.” Consequently, at the very outset of each project, the firm closely examines the physical, social and historical context before generating a variety of design schemes. 1992 was an important year for Provencher_Roy. The World Trade Centre, completed by Provencher_Roy with Groupe Arcop, was built on an abandoned block in the heart of Old Montreal, the first major urban renewal intervention in this historic district. Moreover, the Pointe-à-Callière Museum, completed in partnership with Dan S. Hanganu architecte, opened its doors the same year, marking the 350th anniversary of the founding of Montreal. Provencher_Roy was one of the main contributors to this internationally recognized project, and it proved to be a turning point in the contemporary history of Montreal architecture.

The firm’s work on Montreal’s Ritz-Carlton included transforming a section of the building into luxury condos. Photo by Stéphane Groleau

The firm’s work on Montreal’s Ritz-Carlton included transforming a section of the building into luxury condos. Photo by Stéphane Groleau

The Francesco Bellini and Cancer Pavilions are specialized research labs completed with Diamond Schmitt. Photo by Tom Arban

The Francesco Bellini and Cancer Pavilions are specialized research labs completed with Diamond Schmitt. Photo by Tom Arban

The Université de Montréal’s Biodiversity Research Centre consists of two buildings linked by a rainwater-fed courtyard. Photo by Marc Cramer

The Université de Montréal’s Biodiversity Research Centre consists of two buildings linked by a rainwater-fed courtyard. Photo by Marc Cramer

Thirty years later, Provencher_Roy has innumerable achievements to its credit, from museum and university pavilions to hospital structures, hotels and commercial projects. One of the more recent projects that has earned praise is the Claire and Marc Bourgie Quebec and Canadian Art Pavilion, opened in 2011. Applauded for its architectural merits, this project is also part of another large urban renewal operation being spearheaded by the firm. Provencher_Roy is currently working closely with the Musée national des Beaux-arts du Québec and OMA*AMO Architecture P.C. on a major expansion proposed for the significant Plains of Abraham site. Other high-profile projects in which the firm is currently involved include the design of the future Maritime Terminal, the entrance to the city of Montreal from the river, and the complete redevelopment of the Alexandra Pier. The firm also collaborated with Danish architect Poul Ove Jensen on the future Champlain Bridge, where it was responsible for designing the approaches to the bridge on both sides of the river.

A view of the Pavillon Joseph-Armand Bombardier for the Université de Montréal and École Polytechnique de Montréal. Photo by Marc Cramer

A view of the Pavillon Joseph-Armand Bombardier for the Université de Montréal and École Polytechnique de Montréal. Photo by Marc Cramer

Provencher_Roy worked in consortium with Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux to renovate the Montreal Casino. Photo by Stéphane Groleau

Provencher_Roy worked in consortium with Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux to renovate
the Montreal Casino. Photo by Stéphane Groleau

Continued service to the profession is another hallmark of the firm. From 1996 to 2011, Claude Provencher served as a member, then later as vice chair of the National Capital Commission’s Design Committee. Since 2008, he has held the position of commissioner and served as a member of the Advisory Board of the Commission des biens culturels du Québec. For his outstanding contribution and leadership role in the community, Provencher was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2014. He once sat on the Board of Directors of Héritage Montréal, and in recent years, has provided significant support to the Maison de l’architecture du Québec.

A recent renovation to HEC Montréal added a glass vitrine to the 1970s university building. Photo by Stéphane Groleau

A recent renovation to HEC Montréal added a glass vitrine to the 1970s university building. Photo by Stéphane Groleau

A new laboratory in Quebec’s Technology Park specializes in animal pathology, and was designed with Gagnon Letellier Cyr Ricard Mathieu et associés. Photo by Guy Tessier and Christian Perreault

A new laboratory in Quebec’s Technology Park specializes in animal
pathology, and was designed with Gagnon Letellier Cyr Ricard Mathieu et associés. Photo by Guy Tessier and Christian Perreault

Provencher_Roy was part of a team of architects responsible for major renovations to Quebec’s Jean Lesage International Airport. Photo by Marc Cramer

Provencher_Roy was part of a team of architects responsible for major renovations to Quebec’s Jean Lesage International Airport. Photo by Marc Cramer

Jury Comments
Provencher_Roy was chosen for the breadth and consistently high quality of work over many years. Recognized for its collaborative work and the excellence of its working and peer-learning environment, Provencher_Roy has played an important mentoring role that has helped establish the next generation of architects. In addition, they have maintained an important and continuing involvement in advocacy, education and community, engaging with the public and promoting the profession of architecture in the community at large.


montreal museum of fine arts addition by provencher_roy
Recent work for the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts involved converting a church into a concert hall and creating a new pavilion to showcase Quebec and Canadian Art. Photo by Marc Cramer


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Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada's only monthly design publication, Canadian Architect has been in continuous publication since 1955.
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