Montréal Botanical Garden | Espace pour la vie Competition entry
The project for the Insectarium’s metamorphosis doubles the volume of the existing building in order to create new biophilic spaces that offer immersive, sensory experiences and original encounters between humans and insects.
The expanded programme of the insectarium is reconfigured under a delicate, permeable enclosure that sits lightly on the ground. The structure weaves the existing landscaping into the museological experience of the new insectarium. The new skin modulates weather and light according to orientation and each space's needs. It shelters the existing insectarium building (now covered with a permeable system of plant growth), the main exhibitions ramp, and the naturalised environment of the central insect aviary.
Responding to the height of the surrounding tree canopy, the form blends into its surroundings through the use of lightness, transparency and reflection. Two light chimneys, repeating a landmark form familiar to the Espace pour la vie, reach above the canopy and serve as a way finding element for the botanical garden's visitors.
The project is inspired by the Living Building Challenge and aims for LEED Platinum certification