A Gorgeous Design ‘Pallet’?

Palette opera

Can wooden, shipping pallets be used to create beautiful architecture? While these slats may be one of the world’s most abundantly used, packaging materials, it’s safe to say that they typically wouldn’t be a designer’s first—or even second—choice when selecting building/design materials. However, I came a cross a recent article by Laval University School of Architecture, Québec City professors Jacques Plante and Pascale Pierre that details a project that envisions the pallet as a total architectural solution.


To be located in The Music Academy of Quebec City’s Conservatoire courtyard, the Pallet Opera is set to be built in July 2011 for the Quebec International Opera Festival. The set will be a temporary, open-air performance stage made entirely from (you guessed it) pallets—from the basic structure, to the supports, to the acoustic materials, and the actual set décor!


The idea, which is more of a research project in essence, comes from Plante’s interest, and concern, with sustainability and the re-use of industrialized materials—turning everyday, common objects into works of art. The pallets will be used in their current form—paying tribute to the original, unaesthetic objects—then returned after the event to the manufacturer’s for reuse in shipping. Now that’s a design concept that’s really in “ship-top” shape!


–Stacy Straczynski


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