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Projecting planets, Planetarium in Montreal by Cardin Ramirez Julien + Aedifica.

Photo credits: Ulysse Lemerisse.

The new home for the Montreal Planetarium uses a combination of robust architectural form, and state of the art projection systems, to create a wonderfully animated experience that will enchant architecture and star gazers alike.

Cardin Ramirez Julien + Aedifica have designed the external form as a loosely extrapolated pair of binoculars, but inside, rather more is going on.

Sponsored by the Rio Tinto Alco aluminium company there was only one material that the exteriors of the new domes could be clad with, but inside, they are helically clad in strip timber that suggests a giant vortex. For what goes on inside the domes, where galaxies are traversed and nebula explored, it seems an appropriate metaphor!

The exhibition spaces are “black box” format, but the planetarium, might be better described as black hole format. Each is a dome of 18m in diameter which, when projected upon, rips the roof off the architecture in “Tardis” like travel, well beyond the speed of light as the projected imagery transports the viewer across the universe.


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