Architecture and design
ECLECTICISM AND MODERNITY
Historically, the built landscape of towns and cities in Québec has been marked by a mixture of French and Anglo-Saxon traditions. Today’s landscape reflects the various trends of an eclectic modernity that is rooted in a North American context and inspired by multiple influences, including the very specific points of view and approaches of Québec architects and designers.
Some of the many renowned architects in Québec have gained international recognition for the original projects that they have delivered here and abroad. Some of the best known architects are:
- Moshe Safdie, who is known for buildings like Habitat 67, the National Gallery of Canada and the Jean-Noël Desmarais pavilion of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
- Dan Hanganu, a designer of original architecture like the Théâtre du Nouveau-Monde.
- Pierre Thibault, whose extensive portfolio includes everything from public buildings and residences to environmental facilities.
- Lise Anne Couture, who is based in New York City at a major firm, Asymptote.
Other firms, such as Saucier and Perrotte or Croft Pelletier, have created some of the most distinctive public architecture projects in Québec, and designed projects across Canada and abroad. Daoust Lestage, the firm that designed and coordinated one of the largest urban planning projects in recent years, the Promenade Samuel-DeChamplain, which is located on the shores of the Saint Lawrence in Quebec City, has also earned many international distinctions.
Architecture and related fields are also being discovered in original exhibition sites that get the general public thinking about the subject and help it understand the basic components of these fields and creativity:
- The Canadian Centre for Architecture, which is both an international research centre and a museum, was founded by famous architect Phyllis Lambert in 1979.
- The Maison de l’architecture du Québec – Monopoli is a one-of-a-kind artist-run centre dedicated to creativity and ideas in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism.
- The Design centre of the Université du Québec à Montréal is interested in all facets of design and architecture.
- The Urban Interpretation Centre in Quebec City is focused on urbanism and the development of urban heritage in Québec’s capital city.
Some artist-run centres and exhibition sites that are dedicated to the visual arts also occasionally offer architecture-related activities. The Society for Arts and Technology periodically holds Pecha Kucha events, where architects present their projects in succinct and imaginative ways.