Mémorial national du Canada
Vimy, France, 2017
Architect : RMA (Ottawa)
Museographer : Bisson + Castonguay, Draw-Build Architect, JLA
Photographer : Julien Discrit
Canada’s National Vimy Memorial in Pas-de-Calais is named after the 11,285 Canadian soldiers who died in France during World War I. Victory at the Battle of Vimy Ridge is a founding event of the Canadian nation. In 1922, France donated the memorial grounds, and the hundred hectares surrounding them to Canada as a token of gratitude. In April 2017, on the occasion of the centenary of World War I, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau inaugurated a new interpretation center at the site.
We were in charge of the exhibition’s graphic design, and wanted to give it a solemn and contemporary aspect, between memorial and museum. That is why we chose the Granville font, whose elegant design reminded us of lapidary engraving.
At the entrance to the museum, a large ground map shows the different fronts. The entrance chairlift invites visitors to remember in three languages: French, English and German, which were systematically treated on the same level. A large-scale image, in color, allows the visitor to picture the hell that was life in the trenches.