Palais des Congrès
Tétreault Dubuc Saia et associés

November 16, 2003 /

Montréal, Québec, Canada

Photo: Marc Cramer
The former Palais des Congrès, designed by Victor Prus (1984), was built on top of a submerged autoroute in an area between Old Montreal and the modern downtown core.

Isolated from both the built and social environments the facility no longer satisfied the rising demands linked to its vocation.

Photo: Marc Cramer
The new design doubles the area of the original facility and, while filling the void over the autoroute, also connects to the new Place Riopelle and the bordering streets. Following the urban grid the expansion interweaves with the existing construction and, through the integration of historic buildings, draws upon the vestiges of three centuries of Montréal.

Photo: Marc Cramer
To create a Palais open to the world, its city, and its people, the architectural concept focuses on the aspects of light and transparency with the use of three times more glassed surface area. As a result, at any given time, the Palais and its city appear as an integrated whole.

Photo: Marc Cramer

The colorful glass facade shows off Montreal's "Latin" joie de vivre and reputation for festivals and fun.
/Mario Saia, Lead design Architect

Photo: Marc Cramer
Photo: Marc Cramer
A new public promenade links the expanded Viger Hall with that of the formal Bleury Hall. The L-shaped passage, lined with a polychromatic glass skin to the north and west, provides access to the grand escalators. Transversal passages, faithful to the existing lines of Jeanne Mance and Anderson streets, facilitate orientation.

Photo: Marc Cramer
Photo: Marc Cramer
The facades relate to the surrounding areas. On the downtown and Cité Internationale side the desired transparency is articulated through the immense facade whose colored glass panels create an interplay of light and colour, producing an iridescent effect both inside and outside the building. During the day, it is the array of colors that predominates, while the dark of night brings out its transparency.

Photo: Marc Cramer
A luminous marquee runs the length of the facade that forms the defining edge of the Place Jean-Paul Riopelle. The marquee protects the decentralized entrance and, at the same time, creates an intermediate zone between the building and the exterior that encourages neighborly relations.
Photo: Marc Cramer
Photo: Marc Cramer
On the historic and introverted Old Montreal side the building responds to the smaller scale stone buildings by the use of limestone, laid in bands, as a common denominator. Translucent glass permits the internal services to capture daylight without being exposed.

The Palais today, previously isolated in the city, has become a beacon and center of attraction.
Drawing courtesy Société du Palais des Congrès

Drawing courtesy Société du Palais des Congrès

Facts about Palais des Congrès

Total area expansion:

110,000 m2
Total area restoration: 100,000 m2

Tétreault Dubuc Saia et associés

Lead Design Architect:

Mario Saia

Project Architect:

Michel Languedoc

Project Team:

Vladimir Topouzanov
Jean-Luc Touikan
Fabien Nadeau
Jean-Luc Vadeboncoeur
Dino Barbarese
Gilles Parent
Jean-Claude Dupuis
Truong Tuan Nguyen
Yvon Théoret
Steve Proulx
Vivian Irschick
François Massicotte
Yves Proulx
Nicole Olivier
Eric Stein
Céline Gaulin
Dominique Dumont
Denis Chouinard
Julie Bélanger
Louise Nagy
Josée St-Pierre
Alain Thibodeau
Martin Gagnon
Martin Roy
Adriett Osorio
Louis Philippe Riopelle.

Consulting Team


Structural Engineer:


Mechanical Engineer:

Pageau Morel et associés / Genivar


Les architectes Tétreault Dubuc Saia et associés

Landscape Architect:

Claude Cormier Architectes Paysagistes


Gespro / BFC / Divco

Last updated: December 19, 2013

See also

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