The new Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium in Montreal, Canada is set on the concrete slab of a salvaged Olympic site and features two huge aluminium-clad binoculars pointing to the sky. The winning proposal of the architectural competition for the new planetarium was designed by Cardin Ramirez Julien in collaboration with AEdifica, and will act as a facility for scientific research and a place where avid stargazers can observe the night sky.
The three-storey complex is situated near the 1976 Olympic Games site and the Biodrome, and features telescopic structures, two theaters and state-of-the-art facilities for space research. The building creates links between different levels of the site and emphasizes its function with two binocular-like, aluminium-clad spaces staring up at the sky.
The architects reused as much as 75 percent of the material from existing structures on site and recycled almost all that was demolished during construction. Furthermore, the project boasts sustainable technologies such as natural ventilation, rainwater reuse and systems that control lighting. These measures are complemented with a green roof populated with self-sustaining native plants. The project aims for LEED Platinum certification.