a new chapter for musée national des beaux-arts du québec


The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec has announced plans to ‘open a new chapter in its history’ with the introduction of the Espace Riopelle. Once integrated into the Musée’s existing complex, the new pavilion will be dedicated to Canadian painter and sculptor Jean Paul Riopelle, who was known for his works of abstract expressionism and non-representational landscapes.


The selection follows an architectural competition which was held from March to August 2022. The winning proposal was designed by Québec-based firm Les Architectes FABG together with SNC-Lavalin and LEM experts-conseils.

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images courtesy Musée National des beaux-arts du Québec | © Les Architectes FABG



inside the Riopelle pavilion’s terraced galleries


The new ‘Espace Riopelle’ at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec will take shape as an array of terraced volumes. These terraces will integrate the museum‘s existing architecture into its site and navigate the neighboring buildings, while the team notes that it aims to evoke the northern landscape of the Isle-Aux-Grues ‘with its green terraces displaying varied species.’ Inside, the work will recall the artist’s studio with its lofty wooden ceilings and large windows.


The interiors will thus be flooded with natural sunlight, the route culminating in a circular gallery spotlighting Riopelle’s masterpiece L’Hommage à Rosa Luxemburg (1992). Here, the public will be invited to admire sweeping views across the Plains of Abraham and the Saint Laurence River.

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Éric Gauthier, architect and partner from Les Architectes FABG, describes the spirit of the design:Our first objective was to harmonize with Riopelle. Inspired by a revealing expression of the artist who said that he was constantly fleeing, we wanted to create a building that reflects his work in perpetual motion.’


MNBAQ’s Director General Jean-Luc Murray continues:The Espace Riopelle will be a true intersection and create a focal point within our museum complex. Located in the heart of the Musée, the site will reflect our vision of a living and inclusive museum and will function as a locus of contemplation and discovery.


This distinctive and innovative space will welcome people from all over the world to encounter and explore the foremost collection of Jean Paul Riopelle’s work.’

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project info:


project title: Espace Riopelle

architecture: © Les Architectes FABG | @architectes_fabg

client: Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec@mnbaq

location: Quebec City, Quebec