Interview with Sylvain Bilodeau, Architect of Architecturama, CA

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Sylvain Bilodeau

As a veteran architect, Sylvain started Architecturama to drive more personal projects o reality, where his years of experience prove to be very useful in expressing his creativity.

Sylvain Bilodeau | Architecturama | Muse Awards

Interview with the 2019 Muse Design Awards Winner - Sylvain Bilodeau

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.

I have been working in the private architecture field since graduating some 22 years ago, but we started only Architecturama 7 years ago. After working for a while for other architectural firms as an employee or freelancer, the drive to carry out more personal projects became more and more important.

Having both accumulated a very varied and complete experience in the practice of architecture was very useful in the processes of starting a practice and expressing our creativity.

2Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

We carry out various projects and are open to any opportunity. We have carried out residential projects, interior redevelopments, facade repairs, artistic installations, exhibition and fair installations, public facilities...

We are interested and influenced by the context, material and immaterial, and the phenomena of perception, the way people occupy and perceive their environment.

We also work on research/creation projects related to the topics and themes that interest and inspire us and also collaborations with artists.

I also teach design workshops at the School of Architecture of Laval University in Quebec City while Nicolas my partner participates as a critic and co-designer for the workshops that are created specifically for a semester. For the next winter semester, I will teach a design studio at the School of Architecture of Université de Montréal.

3What’s your favorite kind of design and why?

I think we are sensitive to the unexpected, the unsuspected, the strange, the particular, the offbeat, the courage of originality and intellectual and conceptual autonomy. It's not related specifically to visual aspect only. It allows patterns and habits to be disjoined, provokes reflection and broadens perceptions and achievements beyond commonplace and what is agreed upon.

4Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2019 MUSE Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

For the Paper Art Fair, the theme of paper, the main medium for the works of art presented there, was the main source of inspiration. For the 2015 edition, the opportunity arose to design the layout occupying three completely open levels of a very large building. The bands of panoramic windows on the façades and the exaggerated length of the available spaces in relation to real needs were quickly associated with the idea of paper strips expressing their lightness, translucency and fragility while at the same time being an element of spatial characterization. For the 2017 edition, we paradoxically compare these same properties of paper (lightness, fragility and flexibility) to those it can acquire when curved and folded (rigid and structural) by putting in place curved and thin planes that literally represent these states of paper.

For the suspended bridge project, the client's idea was to see above the river of balls hanging above Sainte-Catherine Street (Claude Cormier's famous pink balls) a bit like aerial photos. Thus, the project is inspired by vertigo and, by its ephemeral nature, by construction games.

We felt these two projects were interesting to propose because of the similarities they share while being different in their outcome, and also because we like the final result.

5What was the biggest challenge with this project?

For both projects, timelines and budget were the main challenges.

The layout for an event such as the Paper Fair must be flexible for any last minute adjustments. In addition, as assembly and disassembly must be carried out very quickly, the design of the elements, their manufacture and installation must not interfere with the fluidity of operations.

Regarding the gateway, the deadlines were extremely short given the complexity. Interventions in the public domain also have their challenges: compliance with strict regulations such as bridge codes, City of Montreal and fire department requirements for the structure. Also, the fact that the structure had to be self-supporting, dismountable and stored and then reinstalled each year also made the design of the assembly and its connections more complex.

6Tell us something you have never told anyone else.
We are moving to a new place soon.

Winning Entries

FunambOule | 2019

La Paserelle | Architecturama | Muse Awards
Summer pedestrian walkway inspired by vertigo and referencing construction games. The main objective of the project was to offer a new point of view on Montreal's iconic suspended balls while offering a multi-sensory and unusual experience...
(read more at Muse Awards)

Papier | 2019

THE FAIR-Papier is one of the largest fairs of its kind in North America. The event is an important driving force in contemporary Canadian art and presents nearly 40 galleries and 300 artists each year.
(read more at Muse Awards)



Sylvain Bilodeau and Nicolas Mathieu-Tremblay have been collaborating for several years on creative projects focused on architecture.

Inspired by the context, both tangible and intangible, and by the way people occupy and perceive their environment, they manipulate programs, places and ideas to create relevant and sensitive constructions, objects and spaces.

Experimentation and research allow them to develop a unique architecture in which matter, geometry and perceptual aspects remain central.

Their practice has been recognized many times in Quebec, Canada and internationally.

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