The main campus of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) was realized in three phases: phase I, the Hubert-Aquin and Judith-Jasmin pavilions (1972–1986); phase II, the Athanase-David building and Thérèse-Casgrain pavilion (1986–1992); and phase IIA, the Formation des Maîtres pavilion (1989–1993).
Achieving a symbiosis between citizen and university was the main (sociological) challenge of this architectural project, which was shaped by the university’s policy of openness and desire to harmoniously integrate the neighbourhood. Situated atop the city’s busiest transportation hub, the Berri-UQAM station, and located in the heart of the city’s core, UQAM is an urban university. Inspired by the underground city at Place Ville-Marie and wanting the local population to use the university’s passages, Jodoin Lamarre Pratte architectes developed an underground system of free movement. The result: a vast agora on four storeys that bathes in natural light and that skirts pedestrians. Called a “true-city university,” UQAM respects the scale of its environment, preserves fragments of the old Saint-Jacques church (the façade, bell tower, transept and sacristy’s woodwork) and encompasses the Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes.