MUHC unveils the two largest public art works commissioned for the Glen site

The details of the two largest art works commissioned for the Glen site were unveiled today.

The details of the two largest art works commissioned for the Glen site were unveiled today at the site of the new MUHC hospital. Linda Covit’s Havre, will grace the main plaza, and Nicolas Baier’s Lustre (hémoglobine), will be located in the atrium of the Research Institute. Together, these pieces will add to the unique collection comprising thousands of artefacts, including historical medical equipment and art works donated to the MUHC founding hospitals over the past 120 years.

Art is one of the world’s greatest forms of expression. It can raise awareness and drive change, but it can also provide joy and promote feelings of well-being.  The art commissioned for the Glen site of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is intended to comfort, encourage and inspire our patients, their families, and our healthcare professionals, as well as showcase the outstanding talents of Quebec artists.

Linda Covit’s Havre

HavreTo develop this curved 13 m (43 feet) high piece, the artist looked to the body's relationship with architecture as explored by sculptor Antony Gormley,who sees the body as our “first home.”Havre is a home for the mind and the body and a reservoir of respite in a hospital setting. Users can interact with the sculpture. Resembling two hands that join to form a cup, the structure represents a reservoir of support. The interlaced "fingers" suggest hospital staff, who join together on teams that are dedicated to the care of each and every patient. Open yet enveloping, the work offers comfort and generates feelings of well-being. It represents a break and the calm of respite as well as time for social interaction and personal renewal.

Nicolas Baier’s Lustre (hémoglobine)

artworkThis sculpture, which measures 10 x10 x 10 m (30 x 30 x 30 feet)reproduces the structure of human hemoglobin in three dimensions in order to make visible the inner workings of both the body and an essential research centre. Symbolizing an infinitely small and essential part of each of us, this suspended sculpture is meant to be profoundly “humanist.” It reveals something that all humans fundamentally share while underscoring the reason science exists: to advance understanding in order to help and heal. This work astutely and delicately evokes the colour of the building; it also receives and reflects back the changing images that flow before it, and the artist sees this is an allegory for the essential function of hemoglobin, which allows the body to use oxygen and expel carbon dioxide.


“Traditionally, hospital environments have been considered austere and sterile. At the Glen site, our teams have worked hard to create a healing environment, one that supports the patient-centric experience we have strived for since the beginning of this project,” says Normand Rinfret, Director General and CEO of the MUHC. “The research is abundantly clear: a positive environment encourages healing. The artworks being selected will help us to achieve our goal of creating a positive environment for our patients of all ages.”

Thanks to the Government of Quebec’s Politique d’intégration des arts à l’architecture, which requires public construction projects to reserve 1% of their budget for the integration of public art, the Glen site presently has the largest public art budget in the history of the province.

“Many hours of discussions, involving artists, art historians, curators, architects, engineers, site planners, designers, patients and MUHC staff as well as  physicians have ensured that the artworks commissioned for the Glen site reflect the MUHC’s values and mission and are relevant to those who entrust us with their lives and loved ones” concluded Rinfret. 



For more information contact:
MUHC Public Affairs, 514-843-1560
public [dot] affairs [at] muhc [dot] mcgill [dot] ca


About the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC)

One of the world’s foremost academic health centres, the MUHC offers exceptional and integrated patient-centric care, research, teaching and technology assessment. Affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University, it is highly committed to the continuum of care in its community. The partner hospitals of the MUHC—the Lachine Hospital, the Montreal Chest Institute, the Montreal General Hospital, the Montreal Neurological Hospital, the Royal Victoria Hospital and the Montreal Children's Hospital— value multidisciplinary service throughout the lifespan, innovative technologies and practices, strategic partnerships and leadership in knowledge transfer. The MUHC is currently carrying out a $2.355-billion Redevelopment Project on three sites—the Glen, and the Montreal General and Lachine hospitals—designed to provide healthcare professionals with an effective environment in which to ensure patients and their families benefit from The Best Care for Life. The sites are also anchored in best sustainable-development practices, including LEED® and BOMA BESt guidelines / 


About the artists

Linda Covit

Linda Covit was born in Montreal, Canada where she lives and works. Her outdoor site-responsive installations are often concerned with nature and the environment. Covit has received numerous grants from the Canada Council, the Japan-Canada Fund, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Cirque du Soleil and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation in New York.  Her works figure in the collections of the Musée d‘art contemporain Montréal, the Musée du Québec, the Collection Maurice A. Forget, the Cirque du Soleil, the Musée de Lachine, the Koffler Gallery and the University of Concordia. She was a finalist for the Flight 587 Memorial in New York and is currently completing commissions for a garden wall with translucent mist for the new Four Seasons Hotel and Residences and for a condo entranceway, both in Toronto. She has just been awarded the outdoor commission for the new McGill University Health Centre.


Nicolas Baier

Born in Montreal in 1967, Nicolas Baier continues to live and work in this city. He is represented in Montreal and Toronto by Division Gallery ( Baier received his BFA from Concordia University in 1994 and then went on to exhibit his work in Montreal (MMFA, MAC), Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Madrid, Paris and Boston. He has participated in many group exhibits, including a show recently produced at Mass MoCA (2012) called Ô, Canada. He has created many public works in Quebec. His work is part of public and private collections, including those of the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada and the National Bank of Canada.