Architecture competition at the Montréal Space for Life: Montrealers invited to take part in the co-creation process

MONTREAL, Dec. 4, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Montréal Space for Life invites citizens to take part in its biodiversity movement aiming to reinvent our relationship with nature. These Montrealers will participate in the reflection behind the three major projects of the Space for Life's international architecture competition of global character, which will officially launch in February 2014. Following the immense success of the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, the Space for Life is reconfirming its desire to fuse science with art and emotion while inventing new ways to merge architecture and design with a unique, immersive visitor experience for its three major projects: the Insectarium's Metamorphosis, the renewal of the Biodôme and the Botanical Garden's Glass Pavilion. Inspired by the Space for Life's mission to reconnect humans with nature, this competition will use a global creative approach in which boldness and innovation will be determining factors in the creation of a unique immersive, sensory and spatial experience. A dynamic way to participate in the movement and evolution of the Space for Life and to get involved in this significant legacy for Montréal's 375th birthday!

Reflection workshops
The citizen meetings will take place in January 2014. In its movement to reinvent our relationship with nature, the Space for Life invites groups of citizens to take part in the co-creation of certain aspects of its projects—particularly the programming. In July 2014, participants will also get to attend public hearings for the selection of the three competition winners. These workshops aim to give citizens a voice and to stimulate them to participate in the Space for Life's creative movement—to reconnect with nature while inventing a new way of living.

Participatory approach
In 2012, the Space for Life developed its charter of citizen participation in cooperation with employees of its four attractions, citizens, community organizations and Montréal institutions.

Furthermore, during the pre-design phase of the Insectarium's Metamorphosis project, designers, scientists and leading thinkers from across the globe got together with the Space for Life staff to take part in co-creation sessions and a "living lab" with a view to imagining how the facilities and visitor experiences could get people closer to nature in a completely original fashion. These meetings produced ideas that redefine the connection between humans and nature in an even more tangible and profound way. The resulting principles, supported by notions such as biophilia and biomimicry, then served as sources of inspiration for the architecture competition.

Three projects, one site
The three projects targeted by the competition are all located on the Space for Life premises. The result of a multidisciplinary reflection in which the architectural action emerges from the global creative approach, the projects will blend bold architecture and design to create living, evolving, permeable and ecological spaces that meet the highest standards of ecological construction. Depending on the project, the LEED Platinum certification will be targeted, whereas the Living Building Challenge certification will serve as inspiration. The Botanical Garden's Glass Pavilion, the Insectarium's Metamorphosis project and the renewal of the Biodôme—legacies of the 375th birthday of Montréal—are part of the Space for Life's $189.3 M investment plan. The Ministère des Affaires municipales, Régions et Occupation du territoire du Québec has allocated a global budget of $45 M for these projects.

The Insectarium's Metamorphosis project will consist of expanding and redeveloping the existing building and some outdoor spaces. Inspired by nature according to the principles of biophilia, its architecture will need to provoke sensory experiences and unique encounters in order to revive the relationship between humans and insects.

The renewed Biodôme project aims to redevelop certain exhibition spaces, including the Biodôme's indoor ecosystems. Its purpose is to rethink our relationship with nature through a more immersive, introspective and moving visitor experience in order to prompt behavioural changes that are respectful of the environment.

The Botanical Garden's Glass Pavilion project will offer a bold, innovative and organic architecture that meets biophilic design principles, prioritizing natural light, visual accesses, sensory connections to nature, and natural shapes and materials that imitate nature. With a versatile, technologically performing and adjustable space, the Glass Pavilion will host eco-friendly horticultural and corporate events.

In cooperation with the Bureau du design
The Ville de Montréal's Bureau du design worked with Espace pour la vie on preparing and running the architecture competition. Such competitions are among the many commitments taken on by the city and the partners in Action Plan 2007-2017 - Montréal, Cultural Metropolis, which aims to promote excellence in design and architecture while affirming Montreal's status as a UNESCO City of Design. The UNESCO Creative Cities Network, which Montréal is a member, includes 41 cities in 23 countries. It helps creators in member cities share their experiences, while promoting the international exchange of best practices and knowledge.

This approach confirms the Space for Life's position as a leading player in the planet's mass movement in favour of biodiversity—a creative movement seeking to reinvent our relationship with nature, including how we inhabit our spaces.

For more information, visit http://espacepourlavie.ca/en/key-projects

SOURCE: Espace pour la vie

For further information:

Nadine Fortin, Communications Coordinator
514-868-3053/514-250-7753
nadine.fortin@ville.montreal.qc.ca 

Karine Jalbert, Communications Coordinator
514-872-1453 / 514-250-3230
karinejalbert@ville.montreal.qc.ca


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