The multidisciplinary collaborative formed by the two design firms, La Camaraderie and Inscape le studio, present their latest project at Pointe-à-Callière, Montreal Archaeology and History complex: the iA Financial Group Workshop.
This brand new space is located in the Old Customs House – the Fondation J. Armand Bombardier Building. The two agencies are combining their strengths in experiential design and interior architecture to create an educational space for school workshops. The mission is to introduce groups of students to history and archaeology through a variety of activities in an environment that is both versatile and fun. Here, learning wears its own colors and stories come to life thanks to the furniture specially designed as a narrative tool.
Brigitte Lacroix, Exhibitions-Multimedia Technology Project Manager at the museum, commented on the announcement: “The design team has shown boldness and creativity to create a space that not only meets specific needs, but also stimulates the imagination…a space that makes you dream!“
The educational space reveals an environment where colors and flowing shapes combine to immerse visitors in an experience inspired by the St. Lawrence River. For the designers, the movement of water literally became the guiding line of the design concept.
The Museum is on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, which was a determining factor in the founding of Montreal and the occupation of the territory. The designers therefore inspired by the imagery of the river to create this immersive experience of a large wave moving up the stairs to the main educational space.
This formal vocabulary is reflected in all aspects of the layout and the design. A mobile installation hung from the ceiling animates the central space with perpetual movement reminiscent of small colored pebbles agitated by the gurgles of water. On the floor, large blue waves cross the main area. The main space is now subdivided into four rooms by the addition of large folding doors, allowing for greater spatial flexibility. Particular attention was paid to the acoustic management between the rooms, and the reverberation of sound. Thus, several activities can take place simultaneously without the groups interfering with each other. In addition, all interventions and design elements are designed in response to the acoustic challenges of the space.
The custom-made furniture is playful and functional, using bright colors and light natural materials. Each of them is developed according to the scenography of specific activities and their artifacts, inviting interaction between the youngsters and the presented objects. Everything has been thought through in an effort to facilitate the quick installation of each activity, and to maximize the experiences and participation of our youngsters.