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A church morphs into a gallery

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In this old church, which will soon become the new pavilion of the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, Pierre Thibault has incorporated many design elements that showcase the church's features.

Selected by Jacques des Rochers, the Museum's Canadian Art curator and the head of the exposition, the architect's mandate was to showcase the Erskine and American Church just as much as the exposition's works, which consist of a hundred or so paintings, sculptures and decorative objects from the collection of the Sulpician Fathers. Working within the inherent constraints of the place (a vast space that forbids any hangings), PierreThibault designed a large, continuous ribbon that unravels on the ground andrises up to form boxes and nooks that contain all the supports, platforms and pedestals, which serve to present the pieces. This promenade allows the visitor to alternate between two spheres, one with the works on the inside of the ribbon, and the other, that of the nave, found as soon as one exists the course. It offers two very different views of the exposition.

There stored nave will not host other expositions; it will conserve its Arts &Crafts architectural integrity. The integration and design of the new pavilion were provided by the architects of Provencher Roy.

While waiting for work to start in 2008, and the anticipated opening in 2010, the church will become the temporary receptacle of a number of significant works and art objects, some of which will be presented to the public for the first time.

Translation by Jennifer Edwards