Pelletier de Fontenay, 2015 recipients Phyllis Lambert Grant
Since 2008, the Ville de Montréal has recognized the talent of up-and-coming designers by awarding them the Phyllis Lambert Grant. True ambassadors for Montréal, the winners are young professionals working in all disciplines of design. About the project: Nature is most often seen as the container for architecture, where structures are built over time. Hubert Pelletier and Yves de Fontenay are interested in the fascinating conceptual inversion, where nature becomes contained in and captive to architecture: nature that is held and shaped by the limits of architecture. This topsy-turvy idea is already entrenched in institutions devoted to showcasing nature, such as botanical gardens, zoos, aquariums and museums of natural history. These “architectures of captive nature” will be central to the winners’ study project. The study will be carried out in four cities in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, i.e. Berlin, Hanover, Mannheim and Heidelberg. These urban centres will offer the laureates a unique historical perspective, since they are home to a number of nature museums with a history dating back several centuries. The two architects will visit a dozen institutions there and conduct a series of interviews with German professionals. Once back home, they will share their findings and observations in the form of a digital publication, a sort of collection of virtual objects, containing selected images, with commentary, and the video interviews conducted during their trip.