PLANÉTARIUM DE MONTRÉAL
This work proposes an architecture that translates the idea of “Planetarium” through a variety of allusions to cosmological, astronomical, popular and related architectural subjects.
But, these allusions are translated via a phenomenological approach to geometry, volume, space, light and construction.
Four buildings on the site, including the Olympic Stadium and the Biodome employ elliptical or circular geometries. The proposed Planetarium enters into this geometric conversation with the surgical insertion of an immense demi-disc.
The grass surface of a sports field merges with the rear roof of the proposal. The plane of the roof lifts skyward, eliminating views of the city beyond. It is nevertheless populated by an assemblage of cylindrical volumes, “baroque” courtyards and a public garden, in effect creating a “minimalist” topography that in the evening suggests extra-terrestrial landscapes. The merging of sports field and roof also expands the perceived dimension of the Planetarium so that its landscape dimensions can compare with those of its neighbours.
The building’s demi-disc hints at sundials and the flying saucers of popular imagination. Two massive, amber glass cylinders sit atop of the disc and focus attention upon the Planetarium’s most important attributes, two spherical theatres. They celebrate the Planetarium’s profile appropriately enough like two colossal telescopes tracking the sky.
The building’s ground level is conceived as a constellation of beautiful accidents; a baroque big bang of colliding and or floating spheres and circular cylinders that generates an animated “cosmological playground”. Evoking the idea of planetarium, these collisions sketch out a loose form of symbolic geometry where only circles or curvilinear forms derived from circular arcs are contiguous with public space. The entirety of the ceiling and the two great spheres are made of polished aluminum, thereby mirroring the floor, the walls and the movement of bodies. This has the effect of doubling the perceived height of what is a comparatively modest building.
Hal Ingberg architecte + Birtz, Bastien, Beaudoin Laforet architectes
TEAM Hal Ingberg architecte:
Lyndal Brown, Felipe Julian, Nabi Neda, Sébastien Riendeau, Hal Ingberg
TEAM Birtz, Bastien, Beaudoin, Laforest architectes:
Clément Bastien, Nadim Khoury