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Biodome Science Museum

An osmotic and biomorphic installation


Biodome Science Museum
By Luca Maria Francesco Fabris -

What do people today expect when they visit an exhibition? It might seem a stupid question, but in an age of widespread visual stimuli and information, the answer is by no means obvious, for it embraces a complex range of issues. What we have learned in this year of pandemic and social distancing is that the museum sector is perfectly up to speed when it comes to the most innovative technologies allowing the dissemination of cultural activities and intelligent entertainment.
The exhibits and archives of museums can be fully enjoyed online, the technical quality of image and sound transmission making a virtual visit a truly immersive experience. The flood of meta data that has accompanied us during this last year is ample proof of this. 
Without leaving home we have visited once inaccessible places and have been able to spend hours enjoying the beauty of art and nature. So much so that the challenge now in our real lives has become how to create containers on a par with the contents, striking museum buildings that capture the public’s imagination but which, at the same time, allow infinite degrees of freedom as to how their contents are interpreted.
It was this freedom that guided the renovation by Canadian architecture practice KANVA, in collaboration with NEUF architect(e)s, of Montreal’s Biodome, a truly “living” science museum under a huge vaulted roof. The original structure, an imposing engineering feat of reinforced concrete ribs and glass, was the work of the French architect Roger Taillibert built to host the velodrome for the 1976 Olympic Games. 
Seen from above, it resembles a gigantic tortoiseshell. Since 1992, it has been a natural science museum hosting five different ecosystems that bear witness to the complexity of our natural world. The challenge of the new brief - put out to international competition seven years ago - was to develop a completely different sensory experience for...

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