Kanva completes CA$25m redesign of Montreal's 'living museum', the Biodome | attractionsmanagement.com news
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Kanva completes CA$25m redesign of Montreal's 'living museum', the Biodome
POSTED 09 Jun 2021 . BY Tom Walker
The science museum occupies the site of a former velodrome Credit: Kanva architects
Montreal's famous science museum, Biodome, has received a major revamp
The CA$25m overhaul included a number of biophilic design features
Designed by architects Kanva, the works were commissioned by Space for Life, which operators the attraction
The project brief was to enhance the immersive experience between visitors and the museum’s ecosystems
Work has been completed on the redevelopment of Montreal's Biodome – a science museum which occupies the site of the former velodrome built for the 1976 Olympic Games.

The Biodome allows visitors to walk through replicas of five ecosystems found in the Americas – a tropical rainforest, a maple forest, the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, a sub-Antarctic island environment, and the Labrador Coast.

Biodome is one of four attractions located within the city's "museum district" – the other three being Planetarium, Insectarium, and Botanical Garden. Together, the facilities host more than 4,500 animal and 500 plant species.

Designed by Canadian architects Kanva, the CA$25m overhaul of the attraction has added a number of biophilic design features, such as a white, undulating "living skin" being wrapped around the building.

Kanva was commissioned for the redevelopment project by Space for Life (Espace Pour la Vie), the body charged with overseeing operations of the Biodome and the other attractions in the museum district.

The project saw Kanva targeting spaces that could be transformed in ways that would "maximise the value of the building’s architectural heritage".

The carving of a new core, combined with the demolition of the particularly low ceiling at the entrance of the building, now allows visitors to appreciate the scale of the existing space.

The entry tunnel features a very subtle floor incline, intended to slow the pace of movement through a compressed white passage, and to "void the mind for fresh sensory input".

Once visitors reach the central core, smaller slits in the living skin, called eco-transits, lead them towards the ecosystem entrances.

As automatic doors at the end of the eco-transit open into the ecosystem, it remains visually obstructed by a curtain of beads.

By the time visitors pass through the beads, they have been exposed to the climate, smells, and sounds of the natural habitat before seeing anything.

At the entrance of the Subpolar Regions, Kanva designed a new ice tunnel that acclimatises visitors during the transition, while the sounds and smells of puffins and penguins ahead provide additional sensory stimulation.

According to Rami Bebawi, the project’s lead architect and partner at Kanva, the brief was to bring the museum closer to its visitors.

“Our mandate was to enhance the immersive experience between visitors and the museum’s distinct ecosystems, as well as to transform the building’s public spaces,” he said.

“In doing so, we proudly embraced the role that the Biodome plays in sensitizing humans to the intricacies of natural environments, particularly in the current context of climate change and the importance of understanding its effects.

"In gutting the existing ceiling, we opened the space skyward to the building’s extraordinary roof, composed of massive skylight panels that infuse an abundance of natural light."

Bebawi added that, as part of the design process, the practice studied the "tremendous complexity" of the building – described as a living entity comprised of ecosystems and complex machinery that is critical to supporting life.

"We realised that any type of intervention would need to be very delicate, and that a global strategy to the scale of the mandate would require careful coordination and management of numerous micro interventions.

"Every decision required consultations across multiple disciplines, and it became a truly collaborative effort that embraced Kanva’s storyline."
Sign up here to get the Attractions Management weekly ezine and every issue of Attractions Management magazine free on digital.
Once visitors reach the central core, smaller slits in the living skin lead them towards the ecosystem entrance Credit: Kanva architects
The project saw Kanva targeting spaces that could be transformed in ways that would maximise the value of the building’s architectural heritage Credit: Kanva architects
Designed by architects Kanva, the CA$25m overhaul of the museum included a number of biophilic design features Credit: Kanva architects
Credit: Kanva architects
The redesign allows visitors to appreciate the scale of the existing space Credit: Kanva architects
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NEWS
Kanva completes CA$25m redesign of Montreal's 'living museum', the Biodome
POSTED 09 Jun 2021 . BY Tom Walker
The science museum occupies the site of a former velodrome Credit: Kanva architects
Montreal's famous science museum, Biodome, has received a major revamp
The CA$25m overhaul included a number of biophilic design features
Designed by architects Kanva, the works were commissioned by Space for Life, which operators the attraction
The project brief was to enhance the immersive experience between visitors and the museum’s ecosystems
Work has been completed on the redevelopment of Montreal's Biodome – a science museum which occupies the site of the former velodrome built for the 1976 Olympic Games.

The Biodome allows visitors to walk through replicas of five ecosystems found in the Americas – a tropical rainforest, a maple forest, the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, a sub-Antarctic island environment, and the Labrador Coast.

Biodome is one of four attractions located within the city's "museum district" – the other three being Planetarium, Insectarium, and Botanical Garden. Together, the facilities host more than 4,500 animal and 500 plant species.

Designed by Canadian architects Kanva, the CA$25m overhaul of the attraction has added a number of biophilic design features, such as a white, undulating "living skin" being wrapped around the building.

Kanva was commissioned for the redevelopment project by Space for Life (Espace Pour la Vie), the body charged with overseeing operations of the Biodome and the other attractions in the museum district.

The project saw Kanva targeting spaces that could be transformed in ways that would "maximise the value of the building’s architectural heritage".

The carving of a new core, combined with the demolition of the particularly low ceiling at the entrance of the building, now allows visitors to appreciate the scale of the existing space.

The entry tunnel features a very subtle floor incline, intended to slow the pace of movement through a compressed white passage, and to "void the mind for fresh sensory input".

Once visitors reach the central core, smaller slits in the living skin, called eco-transits, lead them towards the ecosystem entrances.

As automatic doors at the end of the eco-transit open into the ecosystem, it remains visually obstructed by a curtain of beads.

By the time visitors pass through the beads, they have been exposed to the climate, smells, and sounds of the natural habitat before seeing anything.

At the entrance of the Subpolar Regions, Kanva designed a new ice tunnel that acclimatises visitors during the transition, while the sounds and smells of puffins and penguins ahead provide additional sensory stimulation.

According to Rami Bebawi, the project’s lead architect and partner at Kanva, the brief was to bring the museum closer to its visitors.

“Our mandate was to enhance the immersive experience between visitors and the museum’s distinct ecosystems, as well as to transform the building’s public spaces,” he said.

“In doing so, we proudly embraced the role that the Biodome plays in sensitizing humans to the intricacies of natural environments, particularly in the current context of climate change and the importance of understanding its effects.

"In gutting the existing ceiling, we opened the space skyward to the building’s extraordinary roof, composed of massive skylight panels that infuse an abundance of natural light."

Bebawi added that, as part of the design process, the practice studied the "tremendous complexity" of the building – described as a living entity comprised of ecosystems and complex machinery that is critical to supporting life.

"We realised that any type of intervention would need to be very delicate, and that a global strategy to the scale of the mandate would require careful coordination and management of numerous micro interventions.

"Every decision required consultations across multiple disciplines, and it became a truly collaborative effort that embraced Kanva’s storyline."
Sign up here to get the Attractions Management weekly ezine and every issue of Attractions Management magazine free on digital.
Once visitors reach the central core, smaller slits in the living skin lead them towards the ecosystem entrance Credit: Kanva architects
The project saw Kanva targeting spaces that could be transformed in ways that would maximise the value of the building’s architectural heritage Credit: Kanva architects
Designed by architects Kanva, the CA$25m overhaul of the museum included a number of biophilic design features Credit: Kanva architects
Credit: Kanva architects
The redesign allows visitors to appreciate the scale of the existing space Credit: Kanva architects
RELATED STORIES
Montreal's birthday gift: City to revamp exotic biodome for 375th anniversary


The first renderings of Montreal’s planned new biodome have been released by architecture studio KANVA.
Planetarium planned for Montreal


A new sientific museum and planetarium is set to open in Montreal, Canada in 2012.
MORE NEWS
Museum operators using AR to take their exhibits global
Two leading museum operators in the UK have partnered with an augmented reality specialist to present holographic exhibits and experiences for students around the world.
John McAslan + Partners-designed M7 cultural hub and museum opens in Doha
A new creative hub in Doha looks to position itself as the new heart of Qatar’s fashion and design industry – as well as a public showcase for innovation and entrepreneurship in the region.
North American and Japanese attractions dominate 2021 Thea Awards
North America and Japan-based visitor attractions and businesses picked up 14 of the 19 Thea Awards this year.
IAAPA news: VRstudios and Creative Works launch 'Fury' VR attraction
VRstudios and Creative Works have launched a new VR-based multiplayer attraction.
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COMPANY PROFILES
IAAPA EMEA

IAAPA Expo Europe was established in 2006 and has grown to the largest international conference and [more...]
Triotech

Triotech was established in 1999. The company is based in Montreal, Canada and has additional offi [more...]
instantprint

We’re a Yorkshire-based online printer, founded in 2009 by Adam Carnell and James Kinsella. [more...]
Clip 'n Climb

Clip ‘n Climb currently offers facility owners and investors more than 40 colourful and unique Cha [more...]
+ More profiles  
FEATURED SUPPLIER

Giving the Gift of an experience has limitless benefits
As we emerge from the clutches of Covid and our freedom of movement is fully restored, giving the gift of an experience is more appealing than ever before. [more...]
VIDEO GALLERY

Proslide Tech Inc - ProSlide | Atlantis Dubai
More videos:
+ More videos  

CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

01-07 Dec 2022

World Leisure Congress 2022

tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
+ More diary  
 


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Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

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