Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, Montreal, Canada

Cardin Ramirez Julien + AEdifica
Date Built
Completed 2013
4801 Avenue Pierre-de Coubertin
The planetarium's website says that it is the latest addition to the, " ...  Montréal Space for Life, the first space in the world dedicated to humankind and nature. With the Botanical Garden, Insectarium, Biodôme and Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, Space for Life is the largest concentration of natural science museums in Canada.  Apart from its spectacular and eco-friendly design, where aluminium plays a prominent role, the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium innovates with a totally original approach to astronomy. The cutting-edge equipment at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium guarantees a unique experience for visitors. Along with the astronomical information usually offered by this type of institution, the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium creates a link between the sky and life here on Earth, not only through science but also through art and poetry. This innovative approach positions it as a leader on the international scene. "

In an article for AECCafé in May of 2013, Sumit Singhal credits the team responsible for the construction of the two domes above the planetarium with a precision that has made it possible, " ... to have 360° projections of stars and very accurate cosmic animations. For example, both domes, each one 18 metres in diameter and more than 9 metres high, were completely covered with 502 aluminum panels that were perforated and riveted every 5 cm in a spiral pattern – a task that took more than two months!  Instead of the 9,000 stars that the old opto-mechanical projector could show, the new equipment reveals more than 300,000.  It is so precise that viewers can observe stars invisible to the naked eye with binoculars! At the same time, the video projectors, synchronized with the opto-mechanical projector, highlight the constellations of the Milky Way and take viewers on space voyages with a striking degree of realism."