The future Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium will be a new star in Montréal’s creative, design and cultural sky. On October 22th 2008, the executive committee has given the go-ahead for the launch of an international architectural competition, to design this new scientific museum scheduled to open in spring 2012.’
The new facilities will carry the name Planetarium Rio Tinto Alcan de Montréal, underscoring the important contribution of the business group, which is investing four million dollars in private funds in this project.
This is Saucier + Perrotte’s finalist proposal for the ‘Planetarium de Monteral’: a black mantle connecting the different programmatic pieces.
The architect’s description:
‘Suspended between two worlds: on a large scale, that of the space and stars; and closer to Earth, that of man and matter, rises the future Planetarium. It transports us elsewhere and invites to discover a snapshot of Evolution, an allegory of the matter in shaping, of a state in evolution, from rough to precious. In a time rooted neither in the present nor the future, the matter in transformation, perforated and distorted is the symbol of this perpetual mutation.
Inspired by this matter, the entire project presents to its visitors the different states of the matter, and the transformations of the planets thereby take place in the heart of the tour. This matter allows the visitors to live an immersive, sensitive and emotional experience and, at the same time, to understand astronomical phenomena.
A sun if the earth of this galaxy: the Theater no.1. The light which shines from it creates a signal from the Pierre De Coubertin Avenue, and in the heart of the project it leads the planning of the project. The public spaces of the Hall put the visitor in the heart of this system, immerse him in a world of discovery, contemplation and knowledge.
The matter, disconnected from the ground, creates the interior spaces and conceals all the technical and structural elements inside its thickness. It contains the Planetarium scenography system. Inside its upheaval, the matter reveals the main museological elements. The two theaters appear encrusted in the matter. Others small spherical elements are used to describe the spaces, give directions and gather people.
Designed in accordance with principles of sustainability, established in the heart of the touristic and scientific de Maisonneuve area, the Planetarium positions itself as a singular and particular architectural element. Conscious of the important part it has to play, it demonstrates respect in its relation with the other elements on-site such as the Biodome and the Olympic Stadium. It strategic position and its shape allow it to become a complementary signal in the qualification of this major museum area.’