ImportantNotices
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South Shore Bike link Two‑way traffic on the Circuit Gilles‑Villeneuve South Shore Bike link
 

South Shore Bike link

December 2, 2017 to April 15, 2018

The bike link between the South Shore (Saint‑Lambert) and Parc Jean‑Drapeau is closed from December 2, 2017 to April 15, 2018. See you next year!

Two‑way traffic on the Circuit Gilles‑Villeneuve

December 1st, 2017 to April 14, 2018

As of December 1st, the portion between the hairpin (northern part of the circuit) and the PAvillon du Canada will become two‑way for motorists. The bike path of the circuit will not be maintained. Please use caution and share the road.

Plan your trip and avoid unpleasant surprises by consulting often the important notices or the schedule of activities and events that are of interest to you.

Parc Jean-Drapeau
Montreal Biosphere history
Biosphere

Biosphere

The dome

Mandated by the United States Information Agency in 1964, Richard Buckminster Fuller, an architect, designer, inventor and philosopher, developed the geodesic dome as the structure for the United States Pavilion at Expo 67.

The dynamic, free-standing structure is composed of cylindrical steel tubes sub-divided into side-by-side plastic covered triangles. This concept required a considerably small amount of materials than conventional architectural designs of such magnitude.

The Biosphere's structure reproduces more than 75% of the surface of a sphere and is the largest building of its kind in the world. Fuller's work quickly became a symbol of Expo 67.

Biosphere, the United States Pavilion at Expo 67

Donation

Once Expo 67 was over, many of the pavilions on the site were dismantled. But the United States Pavilion was donated to the City of Montréal by then-U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson. The City of Montréal officially took possession of the geodesic dome on January 31, 1968.


Man and His World

For more than eight years, from 1968 to 1976, the Biosphere played host to exhibitions, works of art, theme-based gardens, many bird species (the forerunner of the Biodome) and a wide range of activities for the family, even a movie theatre!

The scientific aspect was also featured with the addition of animated activities on photosynthesis, soil conservation, pollution problems in cities, etc.

The 1975 brochure has a line that reads: « Une oasis de joie de vivre » (A joyful oasis)

Exhibitions and works of art ath the Biosphere

Fire

Despite its lightness, sturdiness and elegance, the Biosphere wasn't able to adapt to the Canadian climate and it required constant repairs. On May 20, 1976, a spectacular fire, which started from sparks emitted during welding work, completely consumed the building's acrylic covering, leaving just the steel structure intact.

The City of Montréal subsequently closed the Biosphere and prohibited access to the site for almost 20 years.

Biosphere on fire, Montreal history

Museum

In 1995, after many years of studies, the City of Montréal finally announced the Biosphere's new vocation: a museum promoting the environment and its protection. Now that's a mission in keeping with the philosophy of the Biosphere's creator, Mr. Fuller!

The restoration costs were so expensive that the City of Montréal decided to keep just the tubular structure and completely redo the interior. The renovation project was carried out in collaboration with Environment Canada, which has occupied the premises ever since.

Museum, Biosphere nowaday

Sources :
Société du parc Jean-Drapeau Archives
City of Montréal Archives
Environment Canada



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