Metamorphosis of the Montreal Insectarium
The project proposed by the Berlin-Montreal multidisciplinary team —Kuehn Malvezzi, Pelletier De Fontenay, Jodoin Lamarre Pratte architectes, Dupras Ledoux, NCK and and atelier le balto— won the international architecture competition organized in 2014 by Espace pour la vie for the conception of a new insectarium. The critical and novel design approach proposed for this natural history museum invites visitors to have an immersive experience in the little-known world of insects. Translating the mission of Espace pour la vie, the exceptional and atypical building inaugurated in April 2022 will surprise and sharpen perceptions by providing unprecedented sensations and encounters that bring humans and insects closer together, creating an emotional link that is essential to our future. LEED Gold certification is being sought.
Kuehn Malvezzi (Berlin)
Pelletier de Fontenay
Atelier le balto (landscape architecture - Berlin)
3 600 m² / 31,8 M$
2014 — 2022
An underground architectural journey first invites visitors to transform their vision of the world through immersive experiences. Scenographic devices integrated into caves allow visitors to see, hear and feel vibrations like insects: a world imperceptible to humans.
The visit continues with an encounter with live insects in the glass niches of the six vivariums of the Tête-à-tête Gallery, followed by the discovery of the rich collection of naturalized specimens of the Insectarium, displayed on the walls of an imposing ten-meter-high dome.
Visitors are then directed to the highlight of the tour —the Grand Vivarium—, a vast immersive greenhouse where they come into contact with a multitude of insects moving freely in the space. Finally, a creative workshop bathed in light adjacent to the Great Vivarium welcomes groups to carry out artistic and learning activities in continuity with the exceptional experience.
An inseparable integration of the museum experience with the architecture enhances the content of the exhibitions. The respectful inscription of the project in a natural site of great beauty, the Jardin botanique de Montréal, by identifying spaces and views to be highlighted, was considered from the first sketches. Under the direction of Architect and Project Manager Nicolas Ranger and in close collaboration with Espace pour la Vie, a multidisciplinary collaborative approach was put in place from the start of the project with museologists, engineers and other specialists, favouring the development of innovative and integrated solutions.
Team of professionals
Kuehn Malvezzi / Pelletier De Fontenay / Jodoin Lamarre Pratte architectes in consortium
Kuehn Malvezzi: concept architects and museology
Pelletier de Fontenay: concept architects
Jodoin Lamarre Pratte architectes: concept architects, project managers and responsible for administration and site supervision
Atelier Le Balto: landscape architects
Dupras Ledoux: electromechanical engineers
NCK: structural engineers
Génie+: civil engineers
CIMA+: sustainable development consultant (LEED certification)
Kuehn Malvezzi avec Double Standards: indoor and outdoor signage
La bande à Paul : museology’s execution and site supervision