Montréal, March 6, 2013 – The Mariners’ House is the first step toward creating the Montréal Archaeology and History Complex, Pointe-à-Callière’s development project to be completed by 2017. The building, located on Place d’Youville, was refurbished by Dan S. Hanganu and Provencher Roy + Associés architectes, the same consortium that designed the Éperon building – the Museum’s main building – and the archaeological crypt beneath Place Royale. The Mariners’ House is a new gathering place for Montrealers, a place where even more knowledge can be shared, with its focus on history and archaeology.
A contemporary building inspired by its archaeological treasures
The architects decided to make Pointe-à-Callière fifth building a contemporary, urban structure that blends seamlessly with the Museum’s Éperon, built in 1992. They also wanted to highlight the archaeological discoveries and history in the basement, while at the same time focusing on a network of connected spaces that encourages movement between them. The façade on Place d’Youville has a two-storey glass curtain wall that brings in huge amounts of natural light and gives the building a sense of transparency, inviting visitors to explore the new space. The foyer, opening onto a monumental staircase, boasts an original work of art by Montréal artist Nicolas Baier and a multimedia installation designed by Montréal’s own Moment Factory. The many windows on levels 3 and 4 of the building offer fabulous views of the Old Port, the St. Lawrence River and Old Montréal.
Architecture marrying the site’s maritime past with the present
The Mariners’ House is an essential part of a Museum visit, linking two public squares that have played key roles in Montréal’s history: Place D’Youville and Place Royale. It is a very special site at the heart of the 18th-century historic district, set at the confluence of the St. Lawrence River, the former Little St. Pierre River and the William collector sewer. The building’s architecture is a nod to this past and its contemporary role in the historic neighbourhood, just like Pointe-à-Callière’s Éperon building, today recognized as one of the city’s most striking landmarks.
Accessible architecture for a vibrant new gathering place
The architects designed this new building to be accessible by day, visible by night and pleasant to visit year-round. This new centre devoted to history and archaeology will allow the Museum to continue presenting major exhibitions, lectures and special events, in addition to giving it an original educational space, the Archaeo-Adventure workshop, with its simulated archaeological digs.