• 2016

  • Architectural
    Place Design

Designed By:

  • Design Par Judith Portier Inc.

Commissioned By:

Piknic electronik


Designed In:


Each winter Igloofest brings together thousands of electronic music fans to dance under the stars at Montreal’s Old Port. Icy decor, steel structures, powerful architectural projections, programs featuring the best local and international DJs makes Igloofest one of the hottest events in the city, and one of Canada’s most cherished.

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  • The vernacular value of the location is a unique source of inspiration. Located between the Old Montreal and the Saint-Lawrence River, overlooking Montreal's skylines and the Island where Expo67 took place. Far enough from the action of the city, the site was perfect to design an environment where visitors would enter another state of mind and let out their festive energy. A close attention was put into bringing the best out of the site's assets and strengths to create a unique gathering area. Indoor pavilion, trees, landscaping and permanent structures were used to provide comfort and protection against natural factors. Every square foot was considered and used to reveal its most outstanding points of view.

  • The extreme temperatures of Montreal winters helped generate a strong look and feel. Cold becomes an ally when sculpting an ice castle or building hot spots to grill marshmallows. Finding a proper balance in the appropriation of seasonal icons such as fire, fur, ice, snow, metal, wood, whool and light, was a very important part of the design. It shows through a highly sensitive and functional programming and designing of different zones to create a gradation through physically and emotionally stunning areas while strolling from the resting spots to the dance floors. It is one of our biggest challenges to bring warmth throughout the site.

  • 2016 was Igloofest 10th anniversary and it was important to provide to the 9,000 festival goers a fun, surprising, new, special and safe environment for that edition. The variety of scale and type of interventions and a storytelling for each sub-space were our tools to design the user-experience. We took a special care in the crowd's circulation passages, waiting lines, gathering spaces and service areas in order to ensure the higher level of comfort. Fluidity and security were always our first concern in designing the experience to be always renewed when strolling on the site. The public responded well, with many comments on the improved fluidity, the more quiets zones and the magical decor.

  • The right dosage of interventions transpired in every part of the visitor's experience. Quebec has strong bonds with its cultural collective imagination - hunter's cabin, winter shack, ice castle, après-ski - which we used to create winter stories for each VIP lounges. Many of the spaces also had partners who were concerned with their brand integration. That instead of being a constraint, helped adding substance to the story by providing us with specific playgrounds to explore and revisit, creating visual conceptual continuity between the brands and Igloofest's identity. Ranging from the positioning of bold decor items on site to choosing details and props, we believe in creating a complete environment.

    This temporary event was designed with reusability, evolutionary and longevity potential in mind. Security, good equipment anchoring, efficient installation and quick dismantlement led to the choice of using recycled shipping containers and totes for construction and storage, also visually relevant in the Old Port of Montreal. It always had an environmental-friendly policy, using eco cups and leaving no trace behind. Igloofest has grown to become an iconic winter event over the years. Its curators are the same as Piknik Electronik which is now implemented in 6 cities around the world and has proven a savoir-faire in developing events which have the public well-being at stake, fun and satisfaction at its core.