Espace Riopelle: a large pavilion at the National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec


Now we know what Espace Riopelle should be, the new pavilion of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, where the most important public collection of works by the famous Quebec painter Jean-Paul Riopelle will be gathered.

• Read also: $ 2.5 million for Espace Riopelle

• Read also: Espace Riopelle at MNBAQ: the architecture competition is open

Announcing that the concept imagined by the Montreal studio Les architectes FABG won the architecture competition on Wednesday, the MNBAQ also unveiled a first sketch of the building that will be housed between the Charles-Baillargé and Gérard-Morisset pavilions.

Largely fenestrated, the pavilion will give ample space to wood and will immerse visitors in a “journey of ascent” culminating in a circular space that will house Riopelle’s masterpiece. Tribute to Rosa Luxembourg.

While changes can still be made to the design when it goes through the integrated design phase this fall, MNBAQ CEO Jean-Luc Murray already can’t contain his excitement.

“It’s a good start and I think it will become an important building for Quebec. We will see it when we go up the Grande-Allée. It will be an iconic building, ”he predicts.


Announced by Prime Minister François Legault in December 2021, the Espace Riopelle project is based on an exceptional donation of 68 paintings, worth $ 100 million, from businessmen and collectors Michael J. Audain and Pierre Lassonde.

The pavilion project, whose construction is valued at 45 million dollars, was the subject of an architectural competition that landed in jury offices around the world.

Les architectes FABG, a group that included two Danish firms, was selected from among the four finalists. The choice was difficult, confesses Jean-Luc Murray, especially since the four concepts presented were very different from each other.

“We loved how it becomes an origami, a multi-angled pavilion that retains a distinct personality while contrasting with other buildings that are already heterogeneous,” Murray points out.

Resonate with the work

“The proposed project tries to resonate with Riopelle’s work and life by taking up some elements related to him, including the love for nature and movement”, explains in a video Éric Gauthier, the company’s main partner. winner.

He is also involved in the renovation of the St-Denis theater, the construction of the new Formula 1 paddocks on the Île Notre-Dame and the modernization of the Verdun Auditorium, among others.

The final sketch of the Espace Riopelle will be presented in January 2023 and construction is expected to begin in late summer with a view to opening in late 2025 or early 2026.

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