Jerry Hewitt joined forces with Gibson Group to conceive and develop this multi-media visitor centre in the famous oyster producing region on the West coast of France.
They collaborated closely on the story development and design of the displays, interactives, and speciality theatre, and a local architect was commissioned to oversee remodelling of the building envelope.
The centre has been created from the shell of an oyster processing factory, with new buildings extending it around and over a tidal lagoon. New display pavilions have been constructed in the form of the local “cabanes”, boat-sheds used by the local oyster-farmers, connected around the lagoon by a board-walk.
In each of five cabanes a different aspect of raising or eating oysters is treated by different scenographic and interactive techniques. A new speciality theatre has been constructed to house a spectacular multi-screen multimedia signature film experience.
The client for the project was the regional government Département. French bureaucracy and devotion to rigid process is legendary, and every aspect of the project was subject to rigid KPI achievement, and an inflexible process. Design and content were negotiated with an experts panel representing the client, to whom all presentations were made and all approvals sought. The budget and programme were just two of the numerous indicators by which success of the project was measured.