Let there be light

McGill University,
Fiat Lux Project
Montreal, QC, Canada

Fiat Lux, translated to “let there be light,” reimagines the site of McGill University’s McLennan-Redpath Library as a light-filled, signature complex dedicated to research, learning, and technology.
Following our completion of McGill’s Library System master plan, Shepley Bulfinch has reimagined McGill University’s main library as “Fiat Lux”: a new research and learning complex poised to advance the University’s academic and research strategy and create a campus destination.
The Fiat Lux project replaces dysfunctional portions of the current structures with a dynamic 120,000-sf pavilion that uncovers the facades of Redpath Hall, one of McGill’s oldest buildings, and renews the adjacent 1970’s brutalist-style McLennan Library. With its location at the juncture of McGill University’s urban campus and the City of Montreal, the “Fiat Lux” project reshapes the complex as the welcoming front door that reconnects the University with the City.
The new complex will be home to the Digital Innovation and Scholarship Hub (DISH), featuring technology spaces, like virtual reality rooms, advanced audio/visual technologies, and a maker space that favors flexibility to support different modes of learning. The complex will also feature informal learning spaces, ROAAr (the University’s Rare Books & Special Collections), and a Grand Reading Room, as well as a variety of open seating environments for student study.
The building project is being designed with local collaborators EKM and Provencher Roy. Shepley Bulfinch completed the Master Plan in collaboration with local Montreal Architect EKM.