An architecture where the visitor becomes an explorer
The design team proposes a multidisciplinary architectural approach that brings to light the building’s original vault—an absolutely unique engineering gem. In the ecosystem environment, this approach provides multiple perspectives on the living species in a gesture of rapprochement and integration of visitors within the habitats, anchored in a strategy that promotes sustainable development and an immersive museum experience. The approach favours a progressive route rather than a linear one, encouraging visitors to wander at their leisure, a little like they would do spontaneously in nature. Creativity, sustainability, relevance and transmission are at the heart
of this regeneration.
An architectural concept that awakens the senses and fuses science, art and emotion
A “living” wall Each ecosystem is wrapped in a curved, flexible and fluid wall. This concept is inspired by biophilia, in its texture and movement, to produce an architecture that brings humans and nature closer together. Upon entering, visitors abandon their urban ecosystem to begin their transition into nature. In the whiteness of this reception area, which reflects the designers’ desire for the highest purity, all our senses are put on hold—a moment of transition that allows visitors to better feel the contrast as they make their way toward the multisensory world of rich colours that resonates in each of the Biodôme’s ecosystems.
A mezzanine with multiple viewpoints
Located above the ecosystems, a new mezzanine offers unique views and multiple perspectives on three of the ecosystems: the Tropical Rainforest, the Laurentian Maple Forest and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The mezzanine is accessible by an elevator as well as by walkways in the Rainforest and Gulf of St. Lawrence. It highlights the immensity of the building in a space that is bathed in light.
A tunnel and wall of ice
Building a tunnel and an inner ice wall to separate the ecosystems of the Sub-Antarctic Islands and the Labrador Coast was a real engineering challenge! These ice structures clearly separate the penguin habitat from the alcid habitat.
As visitors walk through the tunnel, they feel the climatic conditions of the Labrador Coast and experience a sense of closeness with the animals.
The ice tunnel is 2.5 m high and 2 m wide and extends over a length of 15 m. At the exit of the tunnel, an impressive 2 m high wall of ice runs 15 m along the Sub-Antarctic habitat.
A reception hall that opens onto the original structure
In a tribute to the former velodrome created for the 1976 Olympic Games, the visitor quickly discovers why this building had all the assets to be transformed into a “house of life”. The original environment, now rediscovered, is bathed in natural light and is much more inviting.
The designers have done their best to ensure that the immersion is total and engages all the senses. When entering the ecosystems, sight is not the first sense solicited. First you hear, then you smell,
feel the heat or coolness, and only then do you see nature. This introduction is not the result of chance, but of a real desire to make the experience more immersive, moving and sensory. In each ecosystem, the approach was revisited in order to rethink the very essence of the Biodôme and thus enhance the contact between humans and nature.