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AZPML wins £12m Montreal Biodome overhaul

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Alejandro Zaera-Polo’s practice AZPML has won an international contest for the £12 million redevelopment of Montreal’s biodome

The London-based studio – and sole UK finalist – beat three rival teams led by local firms to land the £1.8 million design contract.

The full shortlist

  • AZPML with Kanva Architecture
  • Atelier Ville Architecture Paysage with Marc Mimram
  • Coll-Leclerc arquitectos SLP with Cloud 9 and N.F.O.E. Architectes

AZPML’s proposal transforms the museum – which first opened 22 years ago – into a new gallery focussing on migration with interactive digital projections based on visitor profiles.

Recreations of natural habitats – featuring plants and live animals – will also be included. A new café will furthermore be positioned to overlook the museum’s sub-polar ecosystem.

The biodome occupies a former Velodrome designed by French architect Roger Taillibert for the 1976 Olympic Games.

Construction of the scheme – which is one of three biodiversity projects planned to celebrate Montreal’s 375th birthday in three years’ time – will start in 2016.

The city’s mayor, Denis Coderre commented: ‘This is a project that we will all be very proud of.

‘The migration biodomeis at the heart of our strategic project which is being put forward so the people of Montreal and all visitorscan benefit from an innovative museum and exemplary centre for biodiversity and the environment.’

Lacaton & Vassal has meanwhile won the competition for a botanical garden inside a glasshouse while Kuehn Malvezzi has been selected to design a new insectarium.

All three design contests were launched in February.




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