In 2001 journalist, writer, and critic Sophie Gironnay conceived of a place where architects, architecture enthusiasts, and the general public could meet to rediscover the creative world of architecture.
MAISON de L’ARCHITECTURE du QUÉBEC (MAQ) is an artistic hub presenting architecture, and the field’s direct and indirect creative participants, through exhibitions, labs, publications, workshops, debates, educational activities, and other innovative initiatives.
The MAQ’s aim is to present the relationships between the variety of disciplines that interlock, and interact, to bring architecture into being. From the disciplines of urban planning, such as architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, etcetera; through the realities that influence them, including society, culture, mores, ideas, economy, temporality, etcetera; understanding of these complexities is built in beautiful ways, by the MAQ, by provoking encounters between the creators and the public who inform and experience their creations.
In architecture, Sophie Gironnay sees a form of creative expression serving aesthetic ideals, beyond architecture’s “core” objective of building and organizing space.
Architecture allows us to transcend the purely functional, and necessary structures which make space for life.
We need only look to around us now, and look at what stood and stands from over the centuries, to discover the impact of lasting works of architects, as opposed to the transient lesser works, who have used innovative techniques to evolve their discipline, and our societies, through thoughtful authorial and collaborative works.
With the MAQ, Sophie Gironnay has created a space where architects can reflect on the meanings and evolutions of their creative roots, at a remove from immediate concerns of external economic and bureaucratic constraints, and pressures. By presenting their most unmitigated and creative projects, exchanging with contemporaries and the public on them, seeking to redefine the world both visually and functionally, returning to the pleasure of creating, and encouraging architecture to at least begin from its purest motivations.
To date the MAQ has put on hundreds of architectural presentations, in the form of exhibitions, debates, round tables, conversations, and interactive activities. These have also included the participation of literary and artistic figures from many “unrelated” disciplines. At the MAQ, architecture is presented through buildings, but also reflected in, and upon by, the words of writers and poets; or, through the images of photographers and artists.
The public is invited to explore projects throughout Montréal, in their completed and living forms; but the MAQ also presents opportunities for exploration of the creative processes that go into the making of these projects. Inviting professionals in urban planning is an opportunity for the communities of Montréal to better grasp the importance of quality urban design and building; and, to understand facets of the city’s history and evolution.
Take the opportunity to better understand the methods, constraints, and anecdotes of the architectural profession at the MAQ. It is for everyone to discover what is being done, what is yet to be done, and what can be done to continue the work of making Montréal both a world class city, and home. It is for us all to consider the world in which we live, as much as the block on which we live, and how we communicate with each other and those who build blocks for us. MAQ is a place to take part in this exchange of knowledge, needs, and desires.
In May 2021, MAQ will celebrate its 20th anniversary!
From May 6, to May 31, 2021, MAQ will present three exhibitions synthesizing visual arts, urbanism, and architecture:
Parasites architecturaux, by Dupont Blouin Architects
Snapshot City, by Howard Davies, of Atelier Big City
Rétrospective affective, by Benoît Dupuis, artist-architect
More on these upcoming events at MAQ.