The Bibliothèque Nationale du Québec is a 350 000 sq ft central library for the province of Québec. Located in the Latin Quarter of Montréal, the building consists of general collections, an historic Québec collection, and a variety of public spaces including a lecture theatre, café, gallery, garden, and booksellers.
The collections are housed within two large wooden rooms, each with different characters. The Québec collection is conceived as a grand room, inwardly focused, with the stacks at the perimeter and reading areas within. The general collection is conceived as a storage container for the various materials of the collection with reading areas outside its boundaries. Connecting the collections is an architectural promenade that begins at the entrance of the library, and weaves upward through the collections to a public reading room. Complementing the architectural promenade is a conventional circulation system with elevators and stairs that allows for efficient access to the library.
The wooden rooms are housed within a glass and copper-clad building. Between the wooden rooms and exterior skin are rich and complex spaces that reflect the diversity of the program, through a variety of light conditions, scales of spaces, and unexpected adjacencies.
The public spaces of the library are arranged in a topographic manner below the collections, so that the public spaces of the library support and activate the public spaces of the city.
Winning Submission, International Design Competition, 2000
Lieutenant Governorís Medal in Architecture, 2006
American Institute of Architects / American Library Association Honor Award, 2007
Governor Generalís Medal in Architecture, 2010
Mies Crown Hall Architecture Prize Outstanding Project, 2014