Design Team Selected for Montreal Holocaust Museum

John Hill
13. September 2022
Exterior perspective from Saint-Laurent Boulevard (Visualization: KPMB Architects + Daoust Lestage Lizotte Stecker Architecture; all images courtesy of v2com)

Currently located in Montreal's Cote-des-Neiges neighborhood, the MHM will move to 3535 Blvd. St-Laurent in 2025, when construction is expected to be complete on the design by KPMB and Daoust Lestage Lizotte Stecker. Construction on the $90 million project that will have multiple exhibition spaces, classrooms, an auditorium, a memorial garden, and a dedicated survivor testimony room, is expected to start in the fall of 2023. The move is predicated on a growing demand for the museum's educational programs about the Holocaust, genocide, and human rights, particularly in light of the rise of racism, antisemitism, and discrimination. 

Landscaping (Visualization: KPMB Architects + Daoust Lestage Lizotte Stecker Architecture)
"We are delighted to share the designs of our new museum which will be an important space of learning, action, and coming together. The brilliant design succeeded in creating a space of powerful architecture that remains respectful and sensitive to the difficult history of the Holocaust and its human rights legacy that will be transmitted within its walls."

Daniel Amar, MHM Executive Director

View from the staircase on level two, in the axis of the green space (Visualization: KPMB Architects + Daoust Lestage Lizotte Stecker Architecture)

Clad in Quebec limestone and generously glazed at grade, "the architecture is woven fluidly into the urban fabric of the city," in the words of the design team. Furthermore, the team describes the building as comprised of "simplistic shapes and forms with a strong emphasis on balance evoking feelings of tranquility and reflection." Conceptualized around the "pillars of memory, education, and community," the design features a landscaped forecourt where names of communities destroyed during the Holocaust will be inscribed in stone; prose by Jewish poets will also be engraved into the facade. The interior spaces are oriented toward landscaped courtyards that are "intended to offer respite against the heavy backdrop of the Holocaust context."

Gathering space in the agora (Visualization: KPMB Architects + Daoust Lestage Lizotte Stecker Architecture)

The team of KPMB and Daoust Lestage Lizotte Stecker was one of 32 projects submitted in the first stage of the two-stage architectural competition. Four projects were selected for the second stage, with the winning team beating Atelier TAG + L'OEUF Architectes, Saucier+Perrotte Architectes, and Pelletier de Fontenay + NEUF architect(e)s. All of the entries can be seen on the Canadian Competitions Catalogue website.

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