Biosphere,  Montreal, Canada

Richard Buckminster Fuller
Date Built
Parc Jean Drapeau on Ile Sainte-Helene
This structure in Parc Jean Drapeau on Ile Sainte Helene in Montreal, was originally the US Pavilion at Expo 67.  It features a spectacular geodesic dome that was once clad in an acrylic skin that was shaded to control the internal temperature.  The skin was destroyed in 1976 when the structure was engulfed in fire.  Inside the dome were four large themed platforms and a 37m long escalator that was the longest in the world at that time.  Visitors to the pavilion could arrive on-board the monorail that travelled through the dome.

Today it is home to the Biosphere museum.  As the museum's website explains, "On August 9 (1990) , Environment Canada signs an agreement worth $17.5 million with the City of Montréal to make the Biosphère into a site devoted to environmental action and as a showcase for studying water and the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence ecosystem. Under this agreement, Environment Canada takes full responsibility for the project’s mission, museological direction and building operations for 25 years."

In 1992 the Montréal architect Éric Gauthier won an architectural competition to, " ... redesign the Biosphère’s interior structure in keeping with its original design."  The museum opened officially on June 5, 1995.  "..It is the country’s first museum focused on water, and is dedicated to the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence ecosystem."  In 2010 the Biosphère celebrated 15 years of operation and said at the time that it, "... continues to address Canadians’ concerns about current environmental issues through its programming, animated activities and interactive exhibitions."

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