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New building in the downtown business district

Community Space


Consultation with the community

December 2, 2019 and May 18, 2021

In 2019 and 2021, HEC Montréal organized information sessions along with the project management team for the construction of its new downtown building, as a way of maintaining dialogue with future neighbours and the surrounding community. The major stages of construction work planned for upcoming months were presented, followed by a question period where participants were invited to interact with School representatives.

October 22, 2018: Project information night

The purpose of this information session, the third held by HEC Montréal in as many years, was to update local residents on the latest developments in the construction of the School’s new building. Some of the topics addressed included the architectural concept, the archaeological inventory done in summer 2018, the measures taken to commemorate the heritage of the site, and landscaping.

October 5, 2017: Presentation of the architectural concept

Some fifty local residents responded to the HEC Montréal invitation and turned out on October 5 for a presentation on the architectural concept for the School’s new building developed by Provencher Roy Associés Architectes Inc. Following an explanation of the chosen approach, how comments gathered during previous meetings had been taken into account, the inherent technical constraints of the site, and the next steps, audience members had a chance to chat with School representatives and the architects.

Over the next several months, HEC Montréal will continue to use different means to maintain open and constructive communication with its neighbours and local residents.

January 31, 2017: Codesign workshop

HEC Montréal held a codesign workshop on the construction of its new downtown building, on January 31, 2017. This day of reflection was intended to draw on participants’ experience and knowledge in considering the identity, style and personality of the future building. HEC Montréal is very interested in ideas for integrating the building seamlessly into the surrounding environment. The event was hosted by Mosaic, an HEC Montréal hub specializing in creativity and innovation management. Some sixty people from scientific, social, economic and cultural communities attended, along with local residents.

The codesign workshop held on January 31, 2017

November 10, 2016: First open house

HEC Montréal held a first open house at St. Patrick’s Basilica on November 10, 2016.

The goal of the event was to establish contact between HEC Montréal and local residents. More than 40 people turned out to hear an outline of the project, give their comments and raise various points that residents would like the School to keep in mind.

First open house session on November 10, 2016
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Frequently asked questions

Project justification

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Why does HEC Montréal want to build in downtown Montréal?

The School is short on space. In 2015, the Quebec government recognized that it was lacking 18,110 net square metres, or the equivalent of three American football fields! HEC Montréal has undergone tremendous growth over the past 20 years.

+ 64% students
+ 68% employees
+ 242% research chairs and centres
+ 108% training activities for executives and professionals

A new HEC Montréal building in the core of the downtown business district will meet part of the School’s need for space.

It will also enable the School to improve how it:

  • meets the needs of current students working downtown, by improving conditions for them
  • meets the training needs of downtown workers, employers, professionals, executives and managers
  • connects with its institutional and corporate partners.
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What kind of programs does the school plan to offer in the new building?

HEC Montréal plans to offer distinctive specialized programs in its new building:

  • its portfolio of MBA programs
  • certain certificates, specialized graduate diplomas and short graduate programs
  • all its Executive Education programs, for professionals, executives and managers, to meet a need clearly expressed by downtown employers and workers

The building will also house a knowledge transfer and co-innovation centre, combining several research and knowledge transfer centres. This will allow HEC Montréal to strengthen its connections with its partners and with businesses.

However…
All activities relating to the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs, and many certificate programs, will remain at the School’s Côte-Ste-Catherine and Decelles buildings on the north side of the Mountain.


Design and construction

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How will you make sure that the project fits well into the neighbourhood?

HEC Montréal launched a dialogue with its future neighbours on November 10, 2016, at an open house event.

The goal of this dialogue is to make sure that the project is favourably received and well integrated into the community.

Members of the public may contact the School at any time:

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What will the building's architectural design look like?

HEC Montréal held a codesign workshop bringing together people from a variety of backgrounds, including local residents. The workshop was an opportunity for them to collaborate on finding specific solutions to various problems that had been identified.

The workshop resulted in guidelines that inspired us and were integrated into the project concept.

The design also takes into account the protected heritage properties and meets the conditions imposed by St. Patrick’s Basilica.

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Who will be designing the building?

HEC Montréal issued a call for tenders on October 24, 2016, in keeping with the rules of the Société québécoise des infrastructures.

The following professionals have been hired:

Architects Provencher Roy Associés Architectes Inc.
Structural/civil engineering SDK / MHA consortium
Mechanical/electrical engineering Pageau Morel / Bouthillette Parizeau consortium

 

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When is construction scheduled?

According to the timeline, the building will open in the spring of 2022.


Heritage and environment

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Does the chosen site have heritage value?

The property in question, next to St. Patrick’s Basilica, is not classified as a heritage property.

Before selecting this site, HEC Montréal helped produce a statement of heritage value (énoncé de l’intérêt patrimonial), in cooperation with the City of Montréal, the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, Parks Canada and urban heritage experts.

This type of statement is an official document describing the different ways in which a site holds value, be it historic, symbolic, artistic, social, technical or otherwise. It identifies the characteristics of the site embodying these values.

HEC Montréal is aware of the site’s history, and will permanently mark the location of St. Bridget’s Refuge, in recognition of its importance to the Montréal Irish community.

It is also important to emphasize that the project meets the requirements of the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications regarding heritage.

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Will the new building block the view of St. Patrick's Basilica?

No. The view of St. Patrick’s Basilica from De La Gauchetière and Saint-Alexandre streets is protected under the statement of heritage value issued by the City.

In light of comments gathered at initial meetings with neighbours, and to ensure that the building is seamlessly integrated into the space, the HEC Montréal Foundation donated two properties on Côte du Beaver Hall to the School. These additions to the project made it possible to lower the height of the proposed building and prevent it from overshadowing the Fabrique lot.

The chosen architectural concept will highlight the Basilica façade and preserve many sightlines from Côte du Beaver Hall and Rue De La Gauchetière. The new building stays within the height and alignment limits in relation to the peak of the Basilica roof, and its architecture is well integrated, as requested by the St. Patrick Parish Fabrique.

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What actions are you taking to participate in the revitalization of the neighbourhood?

HEC Montréal wants to help revitalize the block bordered by De La Gauchetière, Côte du Beaver Hall, René-Lévesque and Saint-Alexandre. This means that the site will be redeveloped.

The concept makes good use of green spaces, many of which are included in the design, such as three green roofs on the west side.

Local residents will be able to continue enjoying the newly designed green space.

On Rue De La Gauchetière, the new building will be set back from the sidewalk so that trees can be planted along its entire length and naturally flow to the south side of the site.

The current outdoor parking lot, considered a heat island, will be converted into an underground lot, which will also make the site more aesthetically pleasing.

Important!
The new building will be located on the lot next to the Basilica. The Basilica entrance and the green space in front of it will not be affected.

Photos of the worksite

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New building in the downtown business district > Community Space