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House with 300,000 Stars

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New planetarium in Montreal, Canada is a project of the architectural bureaus Cardin Ramirez Julien and Ædifica. The Planetarium was built in the park, created for the Summer Olympic Games in 1976, on the avenue Pierre de Coubertin, near the botanical gardens.

House with 300,000 Stars in Canada

Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium in Montreal, Canada

Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium in Montreal, Canada 

This vast territory has several noteworthy attractions. In particular, there is a large sports complex that can simultaneously accommodate up to 80,000 spectators. The largest inclined tower adorns the main stadium.

The architects used an existing floor slab to build a planetarium, which was preserved from the time of construction of sports facilities in 1976. However, they strengthened the pile foundation by additional concrete piles for the new building. Structurally the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium consists of two symmetrical towers, each of which is a separate room (theater) for scientific and educational show. These structures are similar to the slightly bent and truncated cones. They symbolize, on the one hand, craters on the Moon, on the other – the universe aimed telescopes.

The cones themselves were made of metal constructions and thoroughly insulated with mineral wool. And facing of each was made ​​of 502 aluminum panels stacked in a spiral and designed to symbolize the glow of the Milky Way.

The architects followed the idea of maximum ecologically cleaner construction. Even the slightly sloping roofs of both cones are exploited and green. The building is equipped with a hybrid type of ventilation that provides fresh air, depending on the number of visitors, with mandatory recovery.

All these technological advances have allowed the authors to claim for the highest , “platinum” level certification of “green” buildings LEED (The Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design). Of course, they had to re-design the surrounding space for the new building. Landscape architects decorated neighborhood with spacious oval flowerbeds, fitting the outlines of the outer cones of the planetarium.

The building of the planetarium is functionally divided into three levels. The first level is related to the transition to the Biodome. It includes all technical services and visitor service facilities: cafes, lobby bars, rest rooms, wardrobe, etc. The second level is the actual planetarium. There are two theaters – “Heavenly chaos” and ” Journey to the Universe “. The third level is given to the administrative services.

The planetarium equipment is truly a showcase of contemporary audio-video technologies. Instead of the traditional world’s best planetariums’ 9000 stars, whose light can be projected onto a sphere by conventional opto-mechanical projectors, the new equipment features more than 300,000 stars! Absolutely all the screens that are located in the lobby, provide visitors with a visually impressive information interactively.

Of course, besides the virtual information, visitors can see dozens of real meteorites. There is a steep staircase in the form of a pedestrian bridge at the main entrance to the planetarium, from which visitors can see the sky.

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Alicia Kim

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