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It is in the former industrial area of the Mile-Ex that Moment Factory, a multimedia studio, has chosen to move its creation studios. Montreal, known for its originality and UNESCO City of Design, houses the studio that develops and produces shows for major events and venues around the world. The creativity of this Montreal-based company is world-renowned.
MU Architecture designs Moment Factory’s new office in an old bricked factory.
The challenge was to develop a large “work and live” area for 250 people on two floors totaling approximately 45 000 sq.ft. Moment Factory is a booming and innovative company, it wants to retain flexibility in nature and substance that is to say as much in its structure and in its physical work spaces. The many departments of the company therefore needed to be in contact with each other intelligently in a bright airy space, being able to expand following the growth of the company. The spatial organization took the form of vast open and up-gradable spaces, linked and punctuated with numerous meeting rooms. The layout creates an organic and fluid circulation. Strategically placed, interstitial spaces encourage the development of ideas and creative concepts, while allowing employees to take time to relax and chat.
MU Architecture creates a modern and colorful space transcending the culture of Moment Factory.
The disused aspect of the district and the railway contrasts with the colorful and modern life inside. At Moment Factory’s request, the main access had to be discreet, unpretentious and unconventional and underground. So a minimalist black steel staircase simply hooks onto the old building and gives us access to unusual offices. Upon entry, the traditional receptionist position gives way to a large cafeteria full of life. The visitor, abashed, is immediately drawn into the atmosphere of Moment Factory. The conservative corporate aspect disappears in favor of a more creative, youthful and irreverent ambiance. From the very beginning, the cafeteria sets the tone with its mismatched chairs, plants, outdoor terrace, its contemporary artworks, where dogs and skateboards circulate freely. The open concept of the kitchen, large enough to accommodate a hundred people, takes the appearance of an over-sized residential kitchen and extends into a semi-closed commercial one.
From this main entrance cafeteria, we access a large open lobby. This studio sized lobby allows a multitude of use: projections, technical tests, spontaneous meetings, project exhibitions, awards showcase and reception. The concrete floors, gypsum partitions, recovered lamps, chairs and furniture blend together in this eclectic and fun universe.
A huge 40 by 60 feet studio on two floors is set in the center of the project, radiating as the heart of Moment Factory.
In order to create a large studio space, it was decided to cut the concrete slab on a surface equivalent to 2400 sq.ft. between two floors. Nicknamed the Black Box, this vast studio has been built in the center of the project using super-beams and carbon reinforcements to support the roof. It is within that space that working models, life-size devices and projections on green screen enable the integration of certain projects. The fluidity and versatility of the space offer the possibility to organize an event that deploys from the studio in adjoining areas like the entrance, the cafeteria and the lobby. We are then in the radiant heart of Moment Factory.
A little further large, conference rooms, a lift, a rear access for employees and a wide staircase can be found. The latter, designed in black painted steel with wooden steps and handrail for comfort and warmth, connects the two floors majestically.
On the top floor, we actually discover the extent of the offices. A multitude of employees, models, sketches and open offices fill these colorful and alive places. Here, everything can be moved, reorganized and reconnected. Work areas are virtually delimited with plants, libraries or just colored panels that represent a specific step in the chain of a project. Abundant natural light floods the various departments. Amid the closed offices, conference rooms, server room and technical rooms that punctuate the floor, one can find an '' Oasis '': a grassy floor space ideal for relaxing in a hammock, exchange and discuss.
MU Architecture imagines a system of large steel doors specifically designed for the entire project.
Developed to meet sound insulation, transparency and privacy requirements, these crude finish and robust hardware "blue steel doors" greatly contribute to the industrial aspect sought . These omnipresent and over-sized openings in the project allow natural light to invade work spaces and bring this notion of loss of scale.Coupled with a network of "cable trays" for lighting and cabling, a broad and complex ventilation system design was put to use: ventilation ducts are visible and play a guiding role in the space in addition to giving it a very industrial look.
This vast and complex apparent ventilation system reinforces the idea of a creativity producing "Factory".
Moment Factory is a multimedia entertainment studio specializing in the conception and production of immersive environments combining video, lighting, architecture, sound and special effects to create remarkable visitor experiences. Since its inception in 2001, Moment Factory has created more than 350 shows and destinations across the world for big-name clients such as Cirque du Soleil, Nine Inch Nails, Madonna, Disney, Microsoft, Sony, Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Project Name: Moment Factory
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Architects: MU Architecture
Project team: Charles Côté, Jean-Sébastien Herr, Valérie Beaudin, Pierre-Paul Guillemette, Nicolas Moussa, Melissa Pizovic, Veronica Lali
Contractor: Construction Albert Jean
Project management : GLT+
Construction: December 2015
Photos: Ulysse Lemerise Bouchard YUL Photo)
Project Area: 45 000 sq.ft.