We were commissioned by Canadian Architect Magazine to photograph one of the jewels of the network of libraries in Montreal: the Bibliothèque du Boisé designed by Eric Pelletier, winner of the Grand Prix du Design du Quebec in 2014. This was a great opportunity for us to flex our creative muscles. The building is truly stunning and a joy to use. It was, however, quite challenging to photograph: it is very long and narrow and has a multitude of discrete spaces that needed to be given their due. It is also very popular and therefore quite busy, almost chaotic at times. We were however fortunate to have a fairly open brief and very collaborative staff at the library that truly allowed us to get the most out of the shoot. Here are a few images to whet your appetite, but we invite you to see the full gallery here. For the full article, head out to Canadian Architect’s archive.
From the Jury of the Grand Prix du Design:
“Designed by the consortium of Cardinal Hardy, Labonté Marcil, and Eric Pelletier architectes, the Bibliothèque du Boisé places the user at the heart of its activities, creating a living space for people to come together or for individual contemplation. The jury was unanimous in its choice of this winner: the library’s mission was brilliantly rendered. Located between Thimens Boulevard and Marcel-Laurin Park, the 5,000 m² Bibliothèque du Boisé offers visitors a variety of access pathways from where they can discover and explore both intimate and dramatic spaces. From the exterior, an imposing wooden “hull” envelops the glass prism of the library. It undulates gently in both plan and section to create different angles, thus controlling the light that’s admitted into the building and acting as an acoustic barrier. It slices through into the interior, folding right out to the ground floor, connecting the library’s levels and creating visual reference points. Visual links between the levels in the different user areas are also featured in a number of places, reinforcing the communal character of the building. The jury noted the judicious use of colour both as an element of identification and for whimsical and/or calming effect. A visitor in search of information need only follow the red: reception desk, reader help desk, and computer desks are all adorned in this colour. Each user group is colour-coded to distinguish it and make it easy to identify in the space. And playful accents of the colour attributed to each area can also be found in that space’s furniture.”