The Insect exists as a destructive force, a nuisance and a horror as well as a tool, a symbol and a fascination. As part of a circuit of natural museums, the Montreal Insectarium becomes a space to encounter and question the insect. A beacon of light, we are drawn to it, and once inside the exterior world is elusive, but its presence is felt in a new way. The body within the space is used to emphasize the various insect experiences and insect types. Varying levels of light at different locations in the building allow a play with our vision in relation to that of an insect. An exchanging of mass and light create a translucency between both interior to interior and interior to exterior spaces – between exhibition spaces and nature.
The heart of the Insectarium spans the entire height of the building, drawing out the space from below the earth’s surface to the sky to be explored along with the insects that live within it. A breathable, light permeable skin wraps the building allowing light and air to filter through to each space, and acting as a symbol of the space as a heterotopia. The museum quality of the space mixed with the immersive and educative experience of insects stages a rare and exciting event to discover and question both the human and the insect’s being and place in the world.