Empress Theatre Digital Gallery
The municipal district of Montreal wishes to propose a new extension to the historic Empress Theatre in hopes to revitalise the surrounding neighbourhood and building currently in decay and risking demolition.
The design proposal is a Digital Gallery as a revitalisation project to restore the abandoned building into becoming Canada's first immersive digital art centre.
The extension is formed by a series of white concrete volumes configured to curate visitors' journey throughout the Empress Theatre [the past], the outdoors [the present] and the digital space [the future]. Each of the seven volumes perform a unique function: from an underground entrance leading to the vertical circulation, a bridge connects the theatre to the outdoors, a double-sided box seating opens to both the theatre and gallery, an enclosed long volume for exhibition space, and a viewing deck as access to the theatre's outdoor rooftop.
Six inward facing LED screens installed onto the new building envelope allow artists to showcase works as a digital platform for guests to experience throughout the building. Architecturally, the digital realm is formed by the interstitial spaces between the building's skin and the interior volumes.
When digital media is displayed, lights fill the interior void producing diffused and blended colours connecting visually the digital gallery to the neighbourhood.