Quebec City architecture students create B15 installation based on electropop music

A down-tempo, electronica song by a Montreal singer informed the design of an all-white installation created by students in a studio led by Canadian architect Jean Verville.

B15 installation by Jean Verville and Kroy

Called B15, the installation is the final project for a graduate studio at Laval University School of Architecture in Quebec City, where Verville recently became a professor.

B15 installation by Jean Verville and Kroy

Verville also leads an eponymous firm in Montreal and is well-known for experimental projects such as a black-and-white apartment that tricks the eye and a fairytale-like cottage in the forest.

For the studio project, Verville invited singer-songwriter Camille Poliquin – leader of the Montreal electropop band KROY — to participate.

B15 installation by Jean Verville and Kroy

Poliquin met with the studio's 15 students to discuss her work methods and the "rhythms, sequences, nuances and variations" that characterise her artistic vision. She then composed a song specifically for the studio and charged the students with creating an installation to accompany it.

B15 installation by Jean Verville and Kroy

Over the course of the semester, the students conceived a small installation for a snowy clearing on campus. The temporary structure consists of 15 white-painted plywood blocks in various shapes and sizes, which can be combined to form different landscapes – some highly fractured, others more intact.

The students carried all of the pieces to the site by hand and tested out the different configurations.

B15 installation by Jean Verville and Kroy

"This stage led the group to work on in-situ adaptations of the elements, in order to explore the different assembly possibilities while preserving the installation's structural and formal characteristics," said Verville in a project description.

Canadian photographer Maxime Brouillet was brought in to document the work and capture "scenographic compositions" that revealed the versatile and expressive quality of the students' design.

B15 installation by Jean Verville and Kroy

Poliquin used the installation as a backdrop for a forthcoming music video, and it will also figure in album artwork. Four different configurations will be featured in total. A short preview is available online.

"The hypnotic universe of KROY becomes the source of impulse for this installation, resulting in a multidisciplinary experiment combining music, architecture, video and photography," said Verville.

B15 installation by Jean Verville and Kroy

In addition to providing architecture students with a unique experience, the studio supported Verville's ongoing mission to develop "interventions that contribute to the de-compartmentalisation of artistic disciplines".

B15 installation by Jean Verville and Kroy

Other recent projects by students include a robotically fabricated wooden bench by students in Vancouver and a woven pavilion that shelters archaeologists, which was designed by Swiss and Peruvian students.

Photography is by Maxime Brouillet.

Project credits:

Workshop instructor: Jean Verville
Students: Achille Breysse, Francis Brunette, Sara Bursikova, Louise Cancel, Alex Clavet, Guillaume Couture, Marion Delahay, Jonathan Estrade, Rosemonde Gadoury-Salvail, Steven Girard, Zachari Guay-Hébert, Walter Lopez-Echeverry, Noémie Marcellin, Justine Rioux, Marie-Ève Thibert
Workshop collaborators: Tania Paula Garza, France Goneau (of Jean Verville Architecte)
Musician: Camille Poliquin (of KROY)
Music video DOP and editing: Adrian Villagomez
Video colorisation: Charles-Étienne Pascal

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B15 installation by Jean Verville and Kroy
B15 installation by Jean Verville and Kroy
B15 installation by Jean Verville and Kroy
B15 installation by Jean Verville and Kroy
B15 installation by Jean Verville and Kroy
B15 installation by Jean Verville and Kroy
B15 installation by Jean Verville and Kroy
B15 installation by Jean Verville and Kroy
B15 installation by Jean Verville and Kroy
B15 installation by Jean Verville and Kroy
B15 installation by Jean Verville and Kroy
B15 installation by Jean Verville and Kroy