cardin ramirez julien + aedifica complete rio tinto alcan planetarium
original content
may 12, 2014
cardin ramirez julien + aedifica complete rio tinto alcan planetarium


cardin ramirez julien + aedifica complete rio tinto alcan planetarium
photo by stéphane brügger
all images courtesy of cardin ramirez julien & ædifica

 

 

 

following their winning entry in an international design competition, the architectural collaborative cardin ramirez julien + ædifica has completed the ‘rio tinto alcan planetarium’ in montreal, canada. in their scheme, the team emphasizes an intimate connection to nature in the visitor’s experience. starry skies are typically viewed outside of urban areas. thus, the intent was to implement the essential qualities of the outdoors into the building’s design.

 

the structure is distinguished by two enormous truncated cones oriented toward the sky, reminiscent of telescopes viewing distant stars. these large drums also help to identify the institution among neighboring landmarks such as the olympic stadium and the biodome.

cardin ramirez julien aedifica alcan planetarium designboom

the building’s enormous truncated cones establish it among the scale of other structures in the park
photo by stéphane brügger

 

 

 

housed within the giant cylindrical volumes are the planetarium’s two theaters, which differ in their functionality and presentation abilities. their hemispherical shape is the optimal form for displaying the sky. the ‘chaos theater’ is a multimedia environment with no fixed seating. the other, dubbed the ‘milky way’, contains established chairs, and presents astronomical exhibits. it is finished on its outer shell with bands of wood, referencing an outdoor habitat, as well as the striations on the surfaces of planets like saturn and jupiter.

cardin ramirez julien aedifica alcan planetarium designboom

the drums are clad in aluminum sheating
photo by stéphane brügger

cardin ramirez julien aedifica alcan planetarium designboom

vegetation and seating around the building help to establish gathering spaces for public use
photo by stéphane brügger

 

 

 

a key objective was to make the entire site desirable and occupiable by the public. areas surrounding the structure, as well as an accessible green roof, offer human scaled spaces for views and relaxation. the planetarium joins three adjacent institutions, the botanical garden, the insectarium, and the biodome, to form a complex of facilities dedicated to the investigation of life.

cardin ramirez julien aedifica alcan planetarium designboom

a staircase accesses the public green roof
photo by stéphane brügger

cardin ramirez julien aedifica alcan planetarium designboom

photos by stéphane brügger

 

 

 

the visitors’ procession from the main entrance to the theaters involves a gradual decrease in light levels, allowing the eye to slowly adapt to the eventual darkness of the exhibitions. the interior environment is made more comfortable through passive ventilation strategies, such as stack effect and operable windows and shutters. the structure aims to receive LEED new construction platinum certification.

cardin ramirez julien aedifica alcan planetarium designboom

photo by stéphane brügger

cardin ramirez julien aedifica alcan planetarium designboom

the ‘milky way’ shell is characterized by its cladding
photo by stéphane brügger

cardin ramirez julien aedifica alcan planetarium designboom

photo by stéphane brügger

cardin ramirez julien aedifica alcan planetarium designboom

the planetarium volumes are hemispherical in shape, and provide engaging astronomical views
photo by david giral

 

drawings

 

cardin ramirez julien aedifica alcan planetarium designboom

site plan with adjacent landmark structures including the biodome and olympic stadium

cardin ramirez julien aedifica alcan planetarium designboom

floor plan / level 0

 

project info:

 

location: montréal, québec
client: espace pour la vie (space for life)
architects: cardin ramirez julien + ædifica
mechanical + electrical engineer: dupras ledoux
structural + civil engineer: snc lavalin
scenography + multimedia: go multimedia
landscape architecture: fauteux et associés architectes paysagistes
food services: bernard et associés
code consultant: sylvie destroismaisons
building envelope consultant: patenaude trempe
universal accessibility: société logique
LEED consultant: exp
photography: stéphane brügger, david giral

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