“regarde les étoiles…”
A must see when you’re in Montreal, the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium (4801, avenue Pierre-De Coubertin, Montreal QC) has been a hit since the doors opened to the public about six years ago and makes Montreal Space For Life Canada’s largest natural science museum complex.
“The opening of the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium is a milestone in the development of Space for Life, which is now taking concrete form as we bring together the Biodôme, the Botanical Garden, the Insectarium and the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium on one site. By combining art and astronomy in one signature building, Space for Life is reinventing the very concept of what a Planetarium should be. We are setting the tone for all our future projects, in fact, as we strive to create bold sensory experiences as a way of encouraging closer bonds between humankind and nature,” said Charles-Mathieu Brunelle, Executive Director of Space for Life.
The Planetarium was the result of an architecture competition that included five different concepts. Ironically, the winners were locally-based as the Montreal firm of Cardin Ramirez Julien + Ædifica were awarded the bid. The architectural concepts employed were assessed in terms of six criteria: the innovative environmental approach and the quality of the LEED (Leadership In Energy And Environmental Design) credits used; the originality of the museum concept with a view to constructing a design that could endure the rigours of time; the quality of the visitor experience inside, the consistency of the solution with program requirements, the budget and the quality of the team.
The overall project cost was $48 million and the project was subsidized by the City of Montreal. The construction is bathed in natural light, with clean lines and a welcoming atmosphere, with the firm’s intention to enhance the visitor experience while discovering the Universe in a totally new way.