Moment Factory

Photo credit: Ulysse Lemerise Bouchard
Photo credit: Ulysse Lemerise Bouchard

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).

It is in Montreal’s former industrial area of the Mile-Ex that Moment Factory chose to move its creation studios.  The challenge was to develop a large “work and live” area for 250 people on two floors totalling approximately 45,000 sq.ft. 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.

Photo credit: Ulysse Lemerise Bouchard
Photo credit: Ulysse Lemerise Bouchard

The disused aspect of the district and the railway contrasts with the colourful and modern life inside. At Moment Factory’s request, the main access had to be discreet, unpretentious, unconventional and underground. A minimalist black steel staircase hooks onto the old building and provides access. Upon entry, the visitor is immediately drawn into the atmosphere of Moment Factory. The conservative corporate aspect disappears in favour of a more creative, youthful and irreverent ambiance. From the very beginning, the cafeteria sets the tone with its mismatched chairs, plants, outdoor terrace and 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, visitors can 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.

Photo credit: Ulysse Lemerise Bouchard
Photo credit: Ulysse Lemerise Bouchard

In order to create a large studio space, it was decided to cut the concrete slab on a surface equivalent to 2,400 sq.ft. between two floors. Nicknamed the Black Box, this vast studio has been built in the centre 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.

A little further, large conference rooms, a lift, 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.

On the top floor, visitors discover the extent of the offices. A multitude of employees, models, sketches and open offices fill these colourful places. Here, everything can be moved, reorganized and reconnected. Work areas are virtually delimited with plants, libraries and coloured 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, exchanging and discussing ideas among colleagues.

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