The fundamental idea behind the Insectarium project is the synthesis of form and content. The result is neither flamboyant architecture nor an abstract container. Uniting architecture and nature, the Insectarium is a true biotope in which insects, plants and people come together and relate to each other. The Insectarium is authentic. Nature, architecture and museology converge in a single entity. They are linked to enhance the individual sensory experience. The Insectarium is a living organism. It functions as a metabolism that not only allows the plants and insects to develop under the expert care of the collaborators, but can also nurture the visitors’ growth during their visit. The Insectarium is landscape. A great field of trees continues the line of larch trees already bordering the site. The Insectarium is architecture. Along with the surrounding landscape, it forms a unique composition of discreet built elements integrated into a classical garden design that maintains a dynamic relationship with nature.

The Insectarium is experience. It doesn’t just exhibit, but also interacts with visitors. The result is not a décor, but rather real experiences:  touch, smell, heat, the bioclimatic effect of the materials themselves, all changing as the visitor moves from one space to the next. The Insectarium is discovery. Through a precise sequence of spaces and events, the visitor is initiated to the world of insects. The Insectarium is process. It is structured in a series of stations: reset, perception, interaction, immersion and workshop spaces. Through this experiential sequence of spaces, the visit becomes imprinted on the visitor’s memory: the Insectarium as a mnemonic organism.


Date : 2014 -
Location : Montreal, QC
Client : Insectarium de Montréal
Design architect : Kuehn Malvezzi / Pelletier de Fontenay
Architect of record : Jodoin Lamar Pratte
Scenographer : Kuehn Malvezzi
Landscape architect : atelier le balto
Structural engineer : NCK
Services engineer : Dupras
Climate engineer : Transsolar
Budget : 13.2 M$ CAN
Status : International competition winner - ongoing
Images : Kuehn Malvezzi / Pelletier de Fontenay / atelier le balto