For people visiting Montreal with children, and especially for those who care about the environment, the Montreal Biosphere will be a great experience. The scientific museum located at Parc Jean-Drapeau on Sainte-Helene is easily accessible by Metro. Entry for children under 18 is free. There is a nominal entry fee for adults with a special concession for students and older people.
People visiting the site can learn about environmental issues like biodiversity, climate change and the need for sustainable development. Visitors will also enjoy participating in the activities and special events which will help them appreciate the small ways in which they can help save the environment.
The Biosphere building was constructed by the United States government to represent the country in the Montreal exposition of 1967. The United States wanted an impressive structure and they hired the famous architect Richard Buckminster to design it. The result was truly magnificent.
Fuller designed a geodesic dome which made the biosphere the principal attraction at the fair. Fuller was an expert at domes, but this was a masterpiece. The diameter of the dome is 250 feet and the frame was made from steel pipes which supported 1,900 acrylic panels. A computer controls the building’s retractable shading screens according to the direction and intensity of sun’s rays to maintain an optimum temperature inside.
At the end of the 1967 exhibition, the US donated the structure to the city. Despite a major fire in 1976 during a renovation, the biosphere reopened in 1995 after some more design changes.
Things to See and Do
The structure itself is attractive, thus giving plenty of photo opportunities. People will be treated to some excellent views of the city as they climb to the belvedere.
Children can have a great time, especially with the water play activities. They can also race with each other at the Walk on Water exhibit. Many other attractive and interactive exhibits await visitors. One notable exhibit is the clothing made from recycled junk materials. There are also videos which both adults and children will enjoy and find interesting.
The Montreal Biosphere will be a great experience for all types of people, especially those who love scientific displays and exhibits. A guided tour is available, which will help visitors appreciate the place and exhibits better.