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HEC Montréal as seen by architect Dan S. Hanganu

Of Rumanian origin, Dan S. Hanganu settled in Quebec in 1970. Since then he has made his mark with several prestigious buildings. The architect's track record already boasts a good thirty distinctions and national and international awards.

His achievements include the Chaussegros-de-Léry office/condominium complex, repair of the Abbey Church for the Benedictine monastery at St-Benoît-du-Lac, and the Pointe-à-Callière Museum of Archeology and History, for which he received the Grand Prize from the Quebec Order of Architects and the Medal of Excellence from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

HEC Montréal: a new challenge

"HEC Montréal is a Temple of knowledge," says Dan S. Hanganu. "We must not forget that nowadays, teaching is a driving force." That is why the entrance to the new building will be the very image of a grand School; "truly majestic," in his words. For the architect, the facade of a building "must express what happens inside." The architect of the HEC Montréal building has no use for the showy. In fact, quite the opposite: every architectural element has a very specific function. The columns of the main entrance are, among other things, air inlets.

"Architecture can be a very dangerous instrument," continues Dan S. Hanganu. "We can make people happy or unhappy depending on what kind of space we design for them." To fully grasp the students' needs, for example, the architect went so far as to visit the school "in secret" to observe students in the third floor work areas. This inspired him to create areas bathed in natural light. Similarly, a meeting room that had originally been designed lengthwise became transversal, allowing more light to enter. "I always act out of conviction, "declares Dan S. Hanganu. "The changes made to HEC Montréal are improvements for everybody."

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