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  COME VEDERE L'ARCHITETTURA CONTEMPORANEA HOW TO SEE CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE
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BUILDING
 
 
Geodesic Dome - Montreal Biosphère
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DESIGNER
 
 
Buckminster Fuller

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CONTEXT
 
Importance of the building in the territory and in the city
Geodesic Dome, Montreal Biosphère, Buckminster Fuller, Montreal, Ile de Notre-Dame, Expo 67, Éric Gauthier
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DESCRIPTION
 
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Geodesic Dome, Montreal Biosphère, Buckminster Fuller, Montreal, Ile de Notre-Dame, Expo 67, Éric GauthierLocated on the western tip of Île Sainte-Hélène, alongside the USSR pavilion but separated by the Le Moyne canal, the United States of America pavilion is undoubtedly one of the most memorable of Expo 67. Even if it initially sparked controversy as some people felt it was too daring, architect Richard Buckminster Fuller's geodesic dome quickly became one of the most prominent symbols of Expo 67. Given to the City of Montreal by President Lyndon B. Johnson, it would later house the Biosphère, an ecowatch centre.

Geodesic Dome, Montreal Biosphère, Buckminster Fuller, Montreal, Ile de Notre-Dame, Expo 67, Éric GauthierThe structure glows in the sunlight due to its acrylic skin and is lit up at night. There is minirail access to this architectural masterpiece standing 80 metres wide (250 feet) and 20 stories high, which makes the experience that much more exciting.

Numerous exhibitions are presented inside the pavilion. American cinema and many aspects of the entertainment world have a prominent place. There are also areas devoted to the fine arts, represented in particular by works from the Pop Art and Op Art movements. As well, the story of the arrival and the life of the first European settlers on American soil is told. Visitors can also learn more about astronauts' achievements, projects and tools. These exhibitions truly illustrate Creative America, the pavilion's theme.
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Geodesic Dome, Montreal Biosphère, Buckminster Fuller, Montreal, Ile de Notre-Dame, Expo 67, Éric Gauthier
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MATERIALS
 
plexiglas, steel

 

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LOCATION
 
Continent
North America
Nation
Canada
Province
Quebec
Region
Montreal
Town
Montreal
Neighborhoods
Île Sainte-Hélène / Saint Helen's Island
Address
160 Chemin Tour de l'Isle
 
 
Telephone
+1.514.283.5000
Website
E-mail
info.biosphere@ec.gc.ca
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MAP
 
 
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TYPOLOGY
 
ARCHITECTURE
Museums and buildings for exhibitions
Science museums
Commercial buildings
Trade fair buildings and pavilions
Other architectural structures
Roofs, casings
Domes and cupolas
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CHRONOLOGY
 
Realisation
1967
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THE BUILDING IN CINEMA
 
Title
  Quintet
Directed by
Robert Altman
Nationality
USA
Year of production
1979
Cast
Paul Newman, Vittorio Gassman, Fernando Rey, Bibi Andersson, Brigitte Fossey, Nina Van Pallandt
Building's role
Marginal
Title
  The Disappearance
Directed by
Stuart Cooper
Nationality
United Kingdom, Canada
Year of production
1977
Cast
Donald Sutherland, Francine Racette, David Hemmings, John Hurt, David Warner, Peter Bowles, Virginia McKenna, Christopher Plummer
Building's role
Marginal
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BIBILIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES
 
 
Abby Bussel, "New life for Buckminster Fuller dome", Architectural Record 4/1996, april 1996, p. 11
Bronwen Ledger, "The Biosphere reborn", Canadian Architect 9/1994, september 1994, pp. 25-28
"New use for biosphere", Progressive architecture 11/1993, november 1993, p. 27
Lotus international 78, ottobre/october 1993, [Applicazioni tecniche / Technical Applications], p. 71 (66-79)
"United States Pavilion, Expo 67, Montreal", GA document 3, winter 1981, pp. 114-119
Carlo Testa, "La nuova industrializzazione e le nuove energie / Buildings transformed into energy producers", Domus 577, dicembre/december 1977, p. 26 (25-30)
Bruno Zevi, Spazî dell'architettura moderna, Einaudi, Torino 1973, tav. 656 [XII. La terza età: itinerarî degli anni cinquanta-ottanta]
Abraham Rogatnick, "Expo 67, The Past Recupered", Lotus 5, gennaio/january 1969, pp. 28-31 (12-33)
Reyner Banham, "L'uomo all'Expo", Casabella 320, dicembre 1967, pp. 48-51
"The United States pavilion at Expo '67, Montreal", JA. The Japan Architect, august 1967, pp. 38-46
Domus 446, gennaio/january 1967, pp. 10, 14-15 (10-20)
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EXHIBITIONS
 
 
Explosion 67: Youth and Their World, Montreal, Centre d’histoire de Montréal, 16 june / 2 september 2017
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DIMENSIONAL
DATA
 
Diameter
m. 76,2 (250 feet)
Height
m. 60,96 (200 feet)
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ANNOTATIONS
 
 
Geodesic Dome, Montreal Biosphère, Buckminster Fuller, Montreal, Ile de Notre-Dame, Expo 67, Éric GauthierIn 1976 a fire destroyed the transparent acrylic bubble, but the steel structure remained.

In 1990 the Environment and Climate Change Canada financed the reconstruction, with a building designed by Éric Gauthier, inside the original steel skeleton.

The new Biosphère was inaugurated in 1995 and in 2007 it changed his name to become an environment museum.
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CREDITS
 
 
Photos: Library and Archives Canada, Olga Arjante, Hervé Lucas
Courtesy of Library and Archives Canada

Geodesic Dome, Montreal Biosphère, Buckminster Fuller, Montreal, Ile de Notre-Dame, Expo 67, Éric Gauthier



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