Caserne Inn is a conceptual members-only resort established by Montreal-based design studio Caserne – initially as a place to offer their team a breather from working at home during the pandemic, as well as the base for an inventive collection of merch and objects – from which all profits go to le CIEL to raise awareness of issues related to mental health. To find out more about the project, we caught up with Caserne’s Ugo Lachapelle.
The Brand Identity: Hi Ugo, how are you?
Ugo Lachapelle: I’m good thanks! Crazy times. I miss working with the team at the office. We are grateful that everyone is doing fine.
TBI: Can you please give us an introduction to Caserne and your role there?
UL: Caserne is a strategic design studio based in Montreal since 2012. My role as Creative Director is to manage projects from strategy to completion. I also make sure that we shake the status quos. I’m still hands-on in the projects. I love the craft.
“It was important to bring awareness on how isolation and working from home has impacted mental health.”
TBI: How has the studio’s work evolved since 2012?
UL: The biggest difference between then and now is our team. At the beginning, it was only Léo (my amazing partner) and myself. The calibre of projects and clients has consistently grown over the years. Now, we work with awesome talented people. It motivates everyone to give the best of themselves.
TBI: So, what inspired you to create the Caserne Inn?
UL: Last winter, to provide our team with a breather from the pandemic, we rented a country house for two months. We called it Caserne Inn. Merch and objects were designed to make the concept extra pleasurable. As the second year of COVID sets in, we felt it was important to bring awareness on how isolation and working from home has impacted mental health. We will be making these goodies accessible to the public and will give all the profits to le CIEL, a foundation that aims to raise awareness for issues related to mental health and social media.
TBI: What’s the thinking behind its aesthetic?
UL: We wanted an authentic/warm mood that at the same time is fun and modern. This applies as much to the graphic design/copywriting/DOP for the video. The logo itself is inspired by vintage hospitality brands.
TBI: What was the most challenging part of bringing the project to life?
UL: With the COVID situation, everything was way more difficult than it was supposed to be. The video shoot itself was a hell of a day. The team was amazing.
“The logo itself is inspired by vintage hospitality brands.”
TBI: How long did the entire project take to bring to life?
UL: It took almost four months. It was not a full-time project since we had other projects in the pipeline.
TBI: Having already created the brilliant Brasserie Caserne Brewing Co, what do you enjoy about developing these self-initiated projects?
UL: It’s the best way for us to showcase all of our services in one project. It is also a good opportunity to work with friends. This year, it was important for us to make a short film. It was the solution to show all of the merch as well as to set up the general mood.
TBI: For the video, how did you plan the narration and each shot to make sure it flowed nicely and showed each product?
UL: All the credits go to the director Charlotte Ratel. She and copywriter Kristian Andersen came up with the scenario. Everything was so much organised during the shoot. Léo and me were just spectators.
“It’s so comfy, perfect to do nothing.”
TBI: Which of the merch is your favourite?
UL: It’s certainly the bath robe. It is custom made by a local brand called Flavio. It’s so comfy, perfect to do nothing.
TBI: What can we expect from Caserne throughout the rest of 2021?
UL: We are working with amazing clients on amazing projects at the moment. It is so motivating to work with intelligent, creative and ambitious clients. I can’t wait to get reunited with the team at the office soon. I miss the synergy.
Check out the Caserne Inn video and merch: