Space for Life architecture competition

10.02.2014  // To mark its 375th anniversary, the city of Montréal has organized an architecture competition to attract designs for three major projects with a total value of $45 million: the Insectarium Metamorphosis; the Biodôme Renewal; and a Glass Pavilion at the Botanical Garden.


Purpose of the competition

The Insectarium Metamorphosis project will expand and renovate the existing building and some outdoor spaces.  

The Biodôme Renewal project is intended to revamp some of its public and exhibition spaces, including the ecosystems.

The Botanical Garden’s Glass Pavilion project will offer bold, innovative and organic architecture informed by biophilic design principles. 





A two-stage competition of international scope, covering all three projects. Competitors may bid on one, two or all three projects, within the context of a single competition process, with a single timetable.

Call for proposals from multidisciplinary teams headed up by an Architect. Teams must register by using the form available on line and submit their Proposals for screening by the jury.
The four finalists chosen for each project in Stage 1 will be invited to expand on their concepts and present them to the jury at a public hearing.


The Team presented by a Competitor must necessarily include a Responding Architect and the following Experts in various disciplines.

The Responding Architect must have:

  • been a member in good order of his or her national order or association for at least ten years
  • over ten years’ professional experience in institutional architecture.

The following Experts must be part of the basic team:

  • a head designer, who must be an Architect with at least five years’ experience
  • for projects A and B only, a scenic designer with at least five years’ experience
  • a LEED and Living Building Challenge expert
  • a certified estimator with at least five years’ experience
  • a designer
  • for project B, a scientific designer
  • a landscape architect with at least five years’ experience 
  • a museologist

The head designer may be the Responding Architect or another Architect.  



The jury, whose Chair will be chosen by its members, will include ten members for Stage 1 and eight members for Stage 2.  

  • Jean Beaudoin, architect, Intégral Jean Beaudoin (Quebec) 
  • Charles-Mathieu Brunelle, Executive Director, Space for Life 
  • Anne Charpentier, Director, Insectarium 
  • Mario Cucinella, architect, Mario Cucinella Architects SRL (Italy); 
  • Édouard François, architect, Maison Édouard François (France); 
  • Normand Hudon, architect, Coarchitecture (Quebec); 
  • Stephen R. Kellert, biophilic design expert, Yale University (United States)
  • Rachel Léger, Director, Biodôme
  • William G. Reed, sustainable development consultant, Integrative Design Collaborative and Regenesis (United States)
  • Gilles Vincent, Director, Botanical Garden 



Registration, which is mandatory and free, will allow Competitors to link up with the professional advisor’s communications network. The downloadable registration form must be completed before the deadline in the timetable.  A confirmation of receipt of the registration will be sent by return e-mail.



The competition documents for Stage 1 are available here, in the “Related documentation” section.

Download the Competition rules
Download the summary program



Since there is unrestricted access to the sites, there will not be any official site visits.



A mandatory briefing is planned once all Competitors have submitted their Proposals.  


Place of submission and deadlines

  • Registration: by 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 20, 2014, at the latest
  • Stage 1/ Proposals by registered Competitors: by 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at the latest, to the address indicated below
  • Stage 2/ Deposit of Submissions by Finalists: by 10 a.m. on Friday, June 20, 2014, at the latest

ESPACE POUR LA VIE – Ville de Montréal

4101, Sherbrooke Est, Montréal, H1X 2B2
Pavillon d’accueil,
Bureau de Carole Etesonne
À l’attention de :
Louise Amiot, architecte, MBA
Conseiller professionnel
Concours d’architecture/d’ESPACE POUR LA VIE
All times indicated are local time in Quebec.  



Professional advisor

All communications must be sent to the Professional Advisor at:




3 mars 2014 PAR Bureau du design
Hello Andrea,

All questions must be adressed to the professional advisor, at the email above.

Thank you!
2 mars 2014 PAR Andrea
I am wondering if there will be site map uploaded in dwg format for participants of the competition? Thanks
30 janvier 2014 PAR Bureau du design
Hello Lena,

The competition will launch this 10 February, at which point the rules and the program will be made available. Until then, we can only tell you what is already public, which is this :
"The contest is open to multidisciplinary teams of architects, engineers, designers, LEED and Living Building Challenge certification experts, landscape architects and designers. Applicants may submit proposals for one, two or three components as part of a single competitive process with one deadline."
Thank you!
28 janvier 2014 PAR Lena Baden
Will this be an open competition or will it be restricted and with an honorarium for selected particiapants submitting a proposal?
6 janvier 2014 PAR Bureau du design
Hello Doris,
The competition has not been launched yet; deadlines and other participatory rules will be available then. The competition is going to launch in February.
24 décembre 2013 PAR Doris Cole, FAIA
Could you please let us know what is the deadline for submitting our proposals??

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