The story of the oyster comes to life at the visitor centre along the Cayenne Canal.

Together with French architects Triade and project managers Horizon, Gibson International won an international design competition to plan and produce a memorable visitor attraction design.

Leveraging state-of-the-art technology, we created an all-encompassing visitor centre extending right from the water in which the oyster is born.

La Cité de L’huître (Oyster City) is built around a raised boardwalk of traditional oyster farmer cabins that immerses the visitor in the sights, sounds, and smells of the trade – immediately transporting them into a story. ‘Themed cabins’ dissect unique aspects of oyster culture, from the science to the dinner table.

We produced an immersive experience that paired a range of technology to stories that complemented each other. As you walk through the visitor centre, each piece of culture is a distinctive experience, different from the last. Our team developed, designed and produced all media, and fabricated and installed the exhibitions.

Our role

  • Museum consultants
  • Stakeholder and cultural engagement
  • Experience design
  • Spatial design
  • Fabrication and installation
  • Ongoing site support and maintenance

A museum experience right on the water

At La Cité de L’huître, ‘Les cabanes’ Blue, Verte, Rouge and Jaune take on themes of the oyster story using scenographic techniques that best engage the senses.

Visitors can experience French cuisine as “virtual chefs” demonstrate how to make different oyster-based dishes, then download the recipes onto an “Oysterland passport” with their barcoded ticket.

A large multi-screen immersive show brings the visitor into the action on an estuary, where four large LCD screens nestled under a glass-bottomed oyster pond display the life and farming cycles of the celebrated “vintage” oysters of Marennes-Oléron.

Model ecosystems with miniature holograms and social history reconstructions round out the multidimensional cultural experience at Oyster City. As visitors move from cabin to cabin at their own pace, a central pond ties the visit together, where children can race model oyster boats.

Gibson International collaborated with

Triade, Horizon (FR), FIT Architects (NZ)

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