Espace OSM

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  • 2019

  • Architectural
    Urban

Designed By:

  • Design Par Judith Portier inc.
  • Visou Design
  • Light Factor
  • Champagne Club Sandwich

Commissioned By:

Montreal Symphonic Orchestra

Nathalie Bédard-Morin

Designed In:

Canada

For its 85th season, Montreal’s Symphonic Orchestra (OSM) showcases Espace OSM: an interactive exhibition about classical music where visitors create their free-run journey through the permanent yet evolutive space when history of the institution meets a vibrant digital laboratory. It’s mission: making each visitor feel the music differently.


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  • CHALLENGE
  • SOLUTION
  • IMPACT
  • MORE
  • The Espace intends to be a digital interpretation of the Orchestra’s identity. The brief was to make this new space an extension of the OSM’s mission to promote classical music, educate and entertain. Planned to welcome public before concerts and through other special events, it was thought ahead for a multiple configuration space. Wanting to please new and returning public, musicians and neophytes, the space had to be attractive and relevant for everyone. The design challenge was transcending the screen through interactive features; making the space inspiring and immersive and bring people together around music without technology taking over.

  • Espace OSM embraces the Institution’s dream of breaking boundaries between the audience and the Orchestra. It achieves a fluid marriage between didactic and digital content, linking the past and the future of classical music through experiment. The space was configured by implanting “Coeur vibrant”, the zone holding numeric experiences, at its heart. It is surrounded by artifacts such as trophies, medals, programs and tour posters highlighting its rich history to anchor the digital vision into an eloquent emotional context. As they move through the Espace’s six evolutive areas and its various contents, visitors rediscover classical music beyond the concert hall.

  • Espace OSM will host various events and temporary installations providing myriad opportunities to bring the Orchestra closer to its intergenerational audience and community. This completely free venue allows visitors to explore its vibrant, modern and visionary history and vision, at the heart of its birthplace. In a wider point of view, OSM’s international reputation makes this initiative a turning point in how a classical music Orchestra can contribute to the cultural development in 2019. It positions the Institution as a mediator for classical music using technology in a laboratory that initiates partnerships with actors from the cultural and digital scene.

  • “Coeur vibrant”, the intriguing box at the heart of the space, intends to articulate the whole visit experience path. Through its translucent walls, sequences of light glimpse at people trying digital experiences. Via virtual reality montage, visitors find themselves on stage with Maestro Kent Nagano directing his musicians playing Chostakovitch’s no15 Symphony. Visible from both inside and outside, the Space's main window showcases a multitude of trophies, before kept in boxes, and an animation made by a local artist that appeals the public 24/7 in the hallway. The “History" zone delivers rare archives of the Orchestra’s conductors while “News wall” puts musicians upfront, sharing backstage anecdotes through one-on-one videos linked to social medias. Visitors can later relax on a sixteen feet banquette while listening to curated playlists. The “Atrium”, covered by its impressive skylight, is a solemn place to watch selected pieces of concerts with surround sound. It is also a gallery of unique artifacts like Holt’s Planets CD that went to space with Julie Payette, General Governor of Canada and former astronaut. Dedicated to OSM’s mission to make music accessible to everyone, Espace OSM is also designed to modulate through multiple events like mini-concerts, private lectures or youth workshops.