Montreal's New Planetarium Opening in Time for AIHce 2013

Attendees of the May 18-23 conference will have the opportunity to visit the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, a LEED-certified building described by the executive director of the surrounding Space for Life as "the city's foremost new tourist and architectural attraction."

The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, the new showpiece of Montreal's Space for Life zone, opens to the public April 6 -- just in time for out-of-town visitors who will attend the AIHce 2013 conference six weeks later.

The planetarium's designers and builders aimed for LEED Platinum certification for the green-roofed building, using recycled or locally sourced construction materials, maximizing the use of natural light, and largely using natural air displacement ventilation.

Michael Applebaum, the city's mayor, praised the design when he invited residents to a March 16 open house. "Since 1966, Montrealers have had a wonderful love affair with their planetarium. This is why we are pleased to open the doors of the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium to them for a sneak peek. They can be proud to be among the first to step inside this boldly designed building, which will, without question, help raise Montréal's profile," Applebaum said.

"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," said Charles-Mathieu Brunelle, executive director of the Montréal Space for Life. "The arrival of the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium marks a turning point for the Space for Life," he added. "Finally together in one place, the Biodôme, the Insectarium, the Botanical Garden, and now the new planetarium will offer visitors a complete experience of nature, from the infinitely small to the infinitely large."

The new building was made possible through the cooperation of the Olympic Park and financial contributions of the city of Montréal, the ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche, de la Science et de la Technologie, the Secrétariat à la région métropolitaine, the ministère de la Culture et des Communications, Canada Economic Development, and Rio Tinto Alcan.

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