Awarded through a highly competitive architectural competition, the concept proposed by the team presents the Oratory as a journey, both physical and spiritual, that invites the visitor to travel between earth and sky, from the Queen-Mary Road to the inner dome, the culminating point of this intimate and introspective experience. The concept is also distinctive by its poetic and pragmatic architectural design, which, through a subtle drape, reveals the richness of the different construction periods, orientates and unifies the visitor’s experience.
The visit of the Oratory is conceived as a visiting route whose drape constitutes the thread of Ariadne and evolves according to the sensitivity of each one. It also symbolizes the religious experience of the Oratory, an iconic place marked by the ascent of the forecourt’s steps as a journey of discovery of oneself and the world.
The winning concept concretizes the initial vision of the first builders of the basilica by allowing the public to discover the interior of its gigantic dome and by creating an observatory at its summit, the highest point in Montreal, offering a 360-degree view of the city and the region.