The Space for Life: Creativity and Commitment - Daring Architecture for the Montréal Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium

MONTREAL, Feb. 1, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - This morning, media representatives were the first to tour the Montréal Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium construction site, one of the five major projects in the Space for Life. As they ventured both under the concrete slab and inside the vast circular steel structure, they had a chance to admire the daring architecture and the scope of the challenge it represents. A host of materials will be added to the steel frame, making it an exceptional, innovative building, one that fits seamlessly into its surroundings. Drawing on cutting-edge expertise and aiming for LEED Platinum certification, the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium not only promises to transform our vision of astronomy, but is also committed to redefining the way we look at architectural excellence and integrate sustainable development in construction.

Charles-Mathieu Brunelle, Executive Director of the Space for Life, enthusiastically says: "This building marks a decisive stage in our development. The second major achievement in our business plan after the Biodiversity Centre, the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium will position the Space for Life as a unique venue: the largest natural science museum complex in Canada. On top of that, it will be the city's foremost new tourist and architectural attraction."

An environmental commitment
To obtain LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification, everything has been carefully planned in keeping with the most stringent sustainable development criteria, from the building's plumbing to its heating system and construction materials, which are either recycled or locally sourced. It will make the most of natural light and will largely use natural air displacement ventilation. Recovery and reuse principles will be applied to all systems: greywater will be captured and stored in large tanks that have already been installed and used to irrigate the landscaping, which will itself incorporate fill from the excavation of the site. A key element is the green roof that visitors will be able to walk on, and that will absorb heat and moisture and breathe. Instead of concrete, there will be green space and bicycle parking.

Daring and innovation 
The Montréal Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium is an ambitious, innovative construction project drawing on the know-how and creative genius of architects, engineers and contractors, combined with cutting-edge technology. With its irregular shapes and huge cones pointing skyward, the Planetarium promises to be one of the city's most exciting architectural achievements in recent decades.

On schedule…
Construction will be completed on schedule, by December 2012. The official opening is planned for spring 2013. The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium project is being carried out in collaboration with the Olympic Park and thanks to financial support from the city of Montréal, Canada Economic Development, the Quebec Ministère du Développement, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation, the Quebec Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine and Rio Tinto Alcan.

The Biodôme, Botanical Garden, Insectarium and Planetarium are launching a daring, creative urban movement, urging everyone to rethink the bonds between humankind and nature. The Space for Life is also a place where people come together to create and to cultivate a new way of living, shaped by Montrealers and people from around the world.


For further information:

Media contacts 

Nadine Fortin, Communications Co-ordinator
Space for Life
514 868-3053 / 514 250-7753
Karine Jalbert, Communications Co-ordinator
Space for Life
514 872-1453 / 514 250-3230


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