Cégep Marie-Victorin, a public educational institution in the northeast part of Montreal, offers a wide variety of programs, including several in the arts (Graphic Design, Interior Design and Visual Arts). Since 2009, the institution has undertaken several major development projects to improve the quality of its physical environment. Drawing on seasoned professionals on its staff and creative students in its programs, the Cégep has boldly opted to use its own resources to create a modern and welcoming setting that showcases its community’s talents and reflects an institutional culture built on innovation, creativity and a human touch.
Two renovation and design projects were completed in 2017–2018:
Intercultural and International Education Centre
This major project involved creating an extraordinary communication space, in an angular architectural showcase of enveloping whiteness.
The central whole, created by the classrooms, form the lungs of the complex, breathing through the different spaces, from the gymnasium to the common area, thanks to a deft play of opalescence and refined surfaces.
The different spaces were designed to foster exchanges and integration. The symbolism is sensed during the comings and goings, in the enveloping luminosity and the building’s openness. The classrooms form a whole at the heart of the students’ movements, in a white setting where every detail was carefully considered to overcome an initial obstacle: the nearly complete lack of natural light. The whiteness flows from space to space, on an expansive and refined glass surface, taking advantage of the architectural flow of the transition areas.
The administrative offices blend harmoniously with the welcoming common area, filled with inviting furniture, whose curved shapes and bold colours bring life to the space as they communicate with the circular visuals. Open onto the world, these visuals evoke, in several degrees of concentric photos or through the refined blend of ethnic patterns, a vital sharing between host culture and the students’ places of origin.
Social Work Department
This project involved creating a space that evokes the Social Work Department’s vocation by having the contents of the courses overflow onto the architectural elements. Here, everything becomes a dialogue, between iconography and revamped hallways, between students, through emphasized words bearing a visual signature carrying the protesting weight unique to social work.
A strong accent was placed on human rights, namely along a sine wave marked by dates and names in the common area, adeptly reflecting social commitment and solidarity. The graphical vocabulary accurately translates the chosen social lexicon.
Leveraging the natural light, the windows are completely covered in illustrations that suggest mutual aid and empathy. A visual conversation takes place, over the entire spectrum of training aspects, giving the site a sense of hope and solidarity.
A white band lightens the horizon of the grey-tinted hallway, ready to welcome bulletin board messages. Opposite, a subtle visual on the wall gently issues a protest. The chosen colours: cyan, magenta, yellow and shades of grey, embellished with screening, are bright and adapted.
A Unifying Approach
Thanks to a perfect blend of interior design and graphic art skills, the designers carried out the projects in line with Cégep Marie-Victorin’s closely-held values. As members of the school, their dedication and commitment were tangible throughout the work. A feeling of pride and belonging exudes from all they touched.
Project founder: Sylvain Mandeville, Cégep Marie-Victorin’s General Director
Main designers of the projects mentioned: Louise Gélinas, interior designer, and Cindy Goulet, graphic designer and professor of Graphic Arts at Cégep Marie-Victorin.