A building of exceptional heritage value, the Institut des Sourdes-Muettes is a good example of architecture that developed over several eras. Despite the construction of the body of the building in seven phases, over a period of 73 years, the incorporation of all of its constituent parts into an overall “H”-plan, the continuity of the volumes and the choice of materials produced a remarkably harmonious building. The buildings, for the most part, made of roughly carved Montreal greystone with dressed stone for the ornamentation.
Designed by Father Joseph Michaud des Clercs de Saint-Viateur, the building is an example of Second Empire architecture, with its mansard roof and corner pavilions, a popular style in Montreal in the 1870s. He grafted onto the centre of the building the avant-corps of the entrance, decorated with pilasters to give the composition a monumental scale. The dome adorning the roof is reminiscent of the domes on Marché Bonsecours and Hôtel-Dieu. The fenestration decreases in height from floor to floor, a common approach at the time. The building still boasts stunning wooden verandas, evocative of its convent origins.
A chapel sits at the centre of the building. It houses a work by painter Georges Delfosse that represents the miraculous translation of the image of Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Conseil, the patron of the chapel. The interior of the Institut des Sourdes-Muettes, with its rich wood panelling, was relatively well conserved until the site was abandoned. The Berri Street entrance features a magnificent golden oak stairway with a ramp and balustrade in red oak.