i+D - July/August 2018 - 43

By Brian Libby

From centuries-old architecture
to modernism of the recent past,
designers are finding new ways
to keep history alive

g History
In the year 1639, well over a century before
America declared independence from Britain,
a group of nuns on order from King Louis XIII of
France established in Quebec City, Quebec, the
first hospital north of Mexico-L'Hôtel-Dieu-and
a larger monastery cloisters, the Monastère des
Augustines, which has endured, like the hospital,
over the centuries as a home for hundreds of
Augustinian Sisters serving the needy.
Flash forward to 2003, however, and the
monastery was being vacated as the order's
numbers dwindled. "They said, 'It will be our
place of memory,'" recalls Bernard Serge Gagné,
a senior partner at Quebec City architecture
firm ABCP. The process was a long one, with
the Sisters preferring a museum, but Quebec's
Ministry of Culture and Communications pushing
back with skepticism about funding another
cultural space. It was then that the architects
and their client arrived at a new idea: to convert
a part of the building into a hotel, which would
then underwrite a museum devoted to the
Monastère des Augustines' history.

"We wanted to respect that kind of order, keeping
it open to the community and on the upper floors
the rooms," Gagné explains. Today, Le Monastère
des Augustines has been transformed into
a wellness hotel, operated as a nonprofit to
perpetuate the nuns' original mission of healing.
Guests can book a room in one of the small original
nuns' rooms, with replica single beds and a
shared bathroom down the hall, or a roomier and
contemporary fourth-floor suite. And, whether
in a hotel room, a new farm-to-table restaurant,
or in the ground-floor museum, the centuries-old
timber beams and floors combine with stone
and plaster walls and cast-iron fixtures to give
the space a sense of texture and authenticity.
Only in a new entrance hall, made of steel
and glass, is there a contemporary insertion.

i+D - July/August 2018

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i+D - July/August 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i+D - July/August 2018

Contents
i+D - July/August 2018 - Cover1
i+D - July/August 2018 - Cover2
i+D - July/August 2018 - 3
i+D - July/August 2018 - 4
i+D - July/August 2018 - 5
i+D - July/August 2018 - 6
i+D - July/August 2018 - 7
i+D - July/August 2018 - 8
i+D - July/August 2018 - 9
i+D - July/August 2018 - Contents
i+D - July/August 2018 - 11
i+D - July/August 2018 - 12
i+D - July/August 2018 - 13
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i+D - July/August 2018 - Cover3
i+D - July/August 2018 - Cover4
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