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Designed by Provencher_Roy and GLCRM Architectes, a new reception pavilion for the National Assembly of Quebec reflects the modern day dynamic nature of Quebec, while demonstrating a thorough understanding and mastery of heritage issues. At the heart of the design is a 300-meter long ramp, around which programs are organized.
Unchanged for more than a century, the existing façade of the National Assembly is an exception in its history. With a classic French character and symmetry, it is one of the rare facades in the world to depict such an iconographic narrative. The pavilion is inserted on either side of the central axis that aligns the main entrance and the Parliament gardens. The extension is completely concealed when viewing the heritage building from the front.
Built underground, the new insertion places an emphasis on the experience of space. This space is centered around a spiral ramp accessible from the entrance hall and the narrative of walking through Quebec’s history. In particular, a fresco experienced from the ramp depict historical milestones of the province that evoke notions of community and citizenship. Gently sloping, the ramp is usable by everyone, regardless of mobility level.
In addition to the metaphorical qualities of the ramp moving through history, it spatially creates a central circular space referred to as the ‘agora.’ A place for gathering, the circular shape of the agora evokes notions of neutrality, unity and quality, all key values of the Parliament.
Open on all sides, the agora fosters encounter and dialogue. An oculus overhead meanwhile provides generous illumination while framing the central tower of the National Assembly.