Lock it up: NFB’s new reception area

The National Film Board (NFB) has relocated its  offices and studios inside Îlot Balmoral, the distinctively red flagship building located adjacent to the Quartier des Spectacles.

Photo credit: Raphaël Thibodeau

Taktik Design was granted the challenging opportunity to imagine and create the project, which occupies five floors, and a third space concept that is ideal for professionals and neophytes of the film industry.

The biggest challenge in this endeavour was to define the identity of the institution to create a narrative around. A unique place where visitors could discover the rich and singular universe of the NFB, a universe that has been in development for many years, was the mandate at hand. Specific attention was paid to the NFB’s history and the transition between its past, present, and future.

Taktik developed a colourful, eclectic environment that corresponds to the vast artistic spectrum of the organization, while also achieving a welcoming and modular space.

Photo credit: Raphaël Thibodeau

The uniquely bold and striking nature of the red ceiling served as the centerpiece in the creation of the colour scheme, as well as in the selection of other materials, colours, and textures for establishing balance in such a grandiose space. Accordingly, the furniture is either primary coloured or set in neutral, bold tones.

In order to respect the LEED value of the building, the furniture was either carefully selected or locally sourced and made with environmentally-friendly, recycled materials.

Photo credit: Raphaël Thibodeau

The custom-made furniture, entirely conceived by Taktik Design, and built by Montreal-based craftspeople, is a nod to the history and legacy of the NFB. The past is represented by a blue colonial table, drawing reference to traditional Canadian-style furniture. Surrounding it are replicas of the blue and white McLaren chair, made famous in the Oscar-winning film ‘Once Upon a Chair’. The present is illustrated by modular green vinyl seats whose colour is emblematic of the original logo of the institution.

Depending on the configuration of the seats, either an accurate or a distorted representation of the logo is formed. The future is evoked by a bright yellow table in welded aluminum that reinterprets the NFB’s iconic human figure logo using only the leg portion of the design.

Photo credit: Raphaël Thibodeau

Simple furniture pieces, including high tables, logs on wheels, and detachable sofas, also enhance the space. The aluminum tube structures allow for the hanging of screens, artifacts, listening stations, and works of art, permitting visitors to discover and fully immerse themselves in the world of the NFB.

In addition to being modular, the space provides various ergonomic possibilities for a wide range of people. Given that, it’s possible to work within the space with ease, or to simply discover the wonders of the NFB at one’s own pace.

Technical sheet
Location: Montréal, Québec
Project end date: 2020
Area: 2430 sq. ft
Client: National Film Board
Designer/Project manager: Andrée-Ann Daniels
Collaborator: Nicola Tardif-Bourdages
Photograph: Raphaël Thibodeau