Built at a cost of $38.35 million, the new Montreal Insectarium has something to impress. Its designers want visitors to perceive the world on the scale of insects, in an immersive way.
“When you build a museum, usually [on commence par] a box. Whereas this time, we started with the exhibition, the insect, around which we designed the design,” explained in English Kuehn Malvezzi, the architect responsible for the project, passing through Montreal for the inauguration. places.
The visit begins first in the basement, through a succession of narrow, dark and labyrinthine corridors reminiscent of an anthill. Alcoves make it possible to “see” like an ant, through screens, or to move from twig (of metal) to twig.
Other spaces allow you to observe insects in their environment, or to contemplate a still life collection of all colors.
The visitor then emerges into a greenhouse, where hundreds of free-ranging butterflies roam freely.
“The metamorphosis of the insectarium is the metamorphosis of the visitor. It is a reframing of the visitor’s relationship with insects to bring them into a posture of humility, respect and appreciation of insects,” explained Maxim Larrivee, director of the Insectarium.
The redesign of the Insectarium was designed to obtain LEED Gold certification, which stipulates that the project is of high environmental quality. The project also won an award of excellence from Canadian Architect magazine.
“We had to have an opening to think outside the box,” said the mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, who was also present for the inauguration. She confided that she herself, as a mother, had often visited there in the past and that she had a certain attachment there.
“The bébites, we like them, we like them less, we find them beautiful, or less beautiful; but it is important to understand how important they are in the ecosystem and in our lives.”
The redesign of the museum is the result of an international architectural competition. After three years of work, it will officially be able to welcome its first visitors on April 13.