MONTRÉAL – A collection of Canadian art has a new home in an airy, modern addition to a 19th century church in downtown Montréal. Provencher Roy + Associés Architectes took over the restoration of the church for the Montréal Museum of Fine Art. The pavilion, a marble and glass annex on the original neo-Roman façade, was created to house the collection of Québec and Canadian art.
The design was intended to preserve the heritage quality of the church, a limestone and sandstone structure with a Byzantine-style dome and extensive stained glass windows. As visitors ascend five-story pavilion, light increasingly spills into the galleries alcoves, intended for a church-like calm.
There are also some uniquely Canadian touches. The top floor, a glass-covered atrium, is designed to resemble an igloo - the domed houses traditionally made from ice-blocks and snow by the Inuit peoples of Canada's Arctic. Not coincidentally, this floor houses the museum's collection of beloved Inuit art.
As church attendence dips in many Western countries, churches big and small are finding new uses and gaining modern additions. Here's one we've covered before - a pavilion attached to Scandinavia's oldest cathedral, in Lund, Sweden.