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KANVA 是一家位于蒙特利尔的设计公司,以其超越建筑形状与形式界限的深刻项目而闻名。蒙特利尔生态馆(Montreal Biodome)是KANVA引以为豪的翻新项目,这是一家沉浸式科学博物馆,能让游客亲身体验多种生态系统的真实环境。

KANVA, a Montreal-based firm renowned for meaningful projects extending beyond the boundaries of architectural shapes and forms, is proud to unveil the delicate grandeur of the newly redesigned Biodome, a Montreal science museum that immerses visitors in the authentic environs of multiple ecosystems.



开放于1992年的蒙特利尔生态馆前身是为1976年奥运会设计的自行车赛车场,这里是加拿大参观人数最多的博物馆之一,是国家境内博物馆界的璀璨明珠。KANVA在2014年赢得一项国际建筑竞赛后,生命空间联盟(Space for Life)耗资2500万美元委托其负责博物馆群项目,包含对生态馆、天文馆、昆虫馆和植物园的翻新。

Housed in the former Velodrome, constructed for the Montréal 1976 Olympic Games, the Biodome opened in 1992 and is a jewel in the crown of a consortium of facilities that collectively account for the most visited museum spaces in Canada. After winning an international architectural competition in 2014, KANVA, co-founded by Rami Bebawi and Tudor Radulescu, was commissioned for the $25 million project by Space for Life, the body charged with overseeing operations of the Biodome, Planetarium, Insectarium, and Botanical Garden.



KANVA的合伙人兼项目首席建筑师Rami Bebawi表示:“我们的任务是加强游客和博物馆独特生态系统之间的沉浸式体验,并对建筑的公共空间进行改造。过程中我们欣然接受了生态馆在提高人类对自然环境复杂性认识方面所发挥的作用,特别是在当前气候变化的背景下,了解其影响是至关重要的。”

“Our mandate was to enhance the immersive experience between visitors and the museum’s distinct ecosystems, as well as to transform the building’s public spaces,” notes Rami Bebawi, a partner of KANVA and the project’s lead architect. “In doing so, we proudly embraced the role that the Biodome plays in sensitizing humans to the intricacies of natural environments, particularly in the current context of climate change and the importance of understanding its effects.”



复杂的故事线 A complex storyline


From the onset, KANVA studied the tremendous complexity of the building, a living entity comprised of ecosystems and very complex machinery that is critical to supporting life. They realized that any type of intervention would need to be very delicate, and that a global strategy to the scale of the mandate would require careful coordination and management of numerous micro interventions. Every decision required consultations across multiple disciplines, and it became a truly collaborative effort that embraced KANVA’s storyline.





“Everybody understood the global vision, and they carried that understanding with them in the spirit of collaboration,” says Bebawi. “It was a very inspirational experience that will serve as a model for better addressing environmental issues in design in the future.”

From an organizational perspective, KANVA began by targeting spaces that could be transformed in ways that would maximize the value of the building’s architectural heritage. The carving of a new core combined with the demolition of the particularly low ceiling at the entrance of the building allows visitors to appreciate the impressive scale of the existing space. In gutting the existing ceiling, KANVA opened the space skyward to the building’s extraordinary roof, composed of massive skylight panels that infuse an abundance of natural light.


▼屋顶上巨大的天窗 The building’s roof, composed of massive skylight panels



平静的核心 A calming nucleus


With a massive open space now forming the core between the ecosystems, KANVA parametrically designed a living skin that they could wrap around the ecosystems, and which would serve as a guiding accompaniment to visitors. With exceptionally complicated structural engineering, the installation of the prefabricated pure white, biophilic skin was a monumental task. With no room for error, the skin was curved and stretched around a bowed aluminum structure, using tension, cantilevering, and triangular beams for suspension, and itself anchored to a primary steel structure. Mechanical junctions were also incorporated in order to accommodate a variety of movements and allow for on-site adjustments.



▼通道空间 The channel


半透明的表皮与上方的天窗和谐互动,倾斜的天际线激发出平静而无限的感觉。新的核心空间还增强了游客的感官体验,从纯粹的中立向周围空间的多感官体验过渡。Rami Bebawi解释道:“核心空间有半公里长,有近四层楼那么高,这是一个非常强大的工具。这是空间的象征,纯净的白色突出了原始的混凝土结构,并与之形成了鲜明的对比。”

The translucent skin harmoniously interacts with the skylights above, with beveled horizons that elicit a sense of calm and infinity. The new core also amplifies the sensorial experience of visitors transitioning from its pure neutrality to the multi-sensorial discovery of its adjacent ecosystems. “It’s a very powerful tool, half a kilometer in length and rising nearly four storeys,” explains Rami Bebawi. “It’s extremely emblematic of the space, and the white purity beautifully highlights and contrasts the original structural concrete.”



感官设计 Sensorial design


KANVA then focused on the journey itself, designing new passages aimed at transforming the existing linear path of discovery into a more dynamic experience, where visitors take charge of their own journeys through the Biodome’s five ecosystems, housing more than 250,000 animals and 500 plant species. Conceptually aiming for a more immersive experience, KANVA focused its attention on soliciting senses, relegating sight to the end of the line behind sound, smell, and touch. From the calming lobby hall, the undulating living skin funnels visitors into a 10-meter tunnel leading to the central core, where their exploration of five ecosystems, including Tropical Rainforest, Laurentian Maple Forest, Gulf of St. Lawrence, Sub-Antarctic Islands, and Labrador Coast, begins.




The entry tunnel features a very subtle floor incline, intended to slow the pace of movement through a compressed white passage, and to void the mind for fresh sensory input. Once visitors reach the central core, smaller slits in the living skin, called eco-transits, lead them towards the ecosystem entrances. As automatic doors at the end of the eco-transit open into the ecosystem, it remains visually obstructed by a curtain of beads. By the time visitors pass through the beads, they have been exposed to the climate, smells, and sounds of the natural habitat before seeing anything.




At the entrance of the Subpolar Regions, KANVA designed a new ice tunnel that acclimatizes visitors during the transition, while the sounds and smells of puffins and penguins ahead provide additional sensory stimulation.




Vertically, KANVA added an entire new level above the ecosystems, accessible via walkways enabling visitors to move through the foliage of majestic trees of both the Tropical Rainforest and Gulf of St. Lawrence ecosystems. The walkways lead to a new mezzanine, offering aerial views of the various ecosystems and the pure white nucleus. The new mezzanine also serves as a technical floor, with interactive educational exhibits and insight into the elaborate machinery required to preserve the facility’s delicate ecosystems.


▼夹层空间 The new mezzanine


学习的过程 A learning process


Before designing a new water basin for the facility’s resident penguins, KANVA staff spent weeks with biologists and veterinarians in order to gain insight into the specie’s swimming patterns. To provide an authentic feel to an observation point where visitors can observe beavers in their natural habitat, the firm studied the architectural prowess of the beavers. The idea emerged to let the beavers carve the wood themselves, which was then dried and used to line the interior of the space.



▼馆内有超过25万种动物和500种植物 Housing more than 250,000 animals and 500 plant species


Bebawi解释道:“在你开始设计一个充满生物的环境空间之前,学习和谦逊的态度是必不可少的。当我们做人本设计时,把自己代入设想之中会觉得是理所当然的,但如果是为水獭或树懒而设计,作为设计师则需要重新自我学习。” 生态馆的翻新项目是KANVA设计履历里的一抹重彩,学习的过程推进了他们对建筑的探索,建筑应更具渗透性,成为人与自然和谐共处的桥梁,而不是与外界相连的阻碍。

“Before you can even begin to design in an environment with living species all around you, education and a notion of humbleness are required,” explains Bebawi. “We take basic assumptions about ourselves for granted when we design for other human beings, but designing for an otter or a sloth requires that you re-educate yourself.” The entire experience has enriched KANVA’s journey as an architectural firm. The educational process has advanced their exploration of how buildings, rather than being barriers to external forces, can be rendered more permeable as harmonious cohabitations between humans and nature.




“We need to reconnect people with the environment, and the Biodome does that in a refreshing way that we are proud to have contributed to,” adds Bebawi. “This project has provided us with six years of invaluable knowledge, preparing us for new and innovative approaches to future projects where architecture becomes a tool to promote and facilitate environmental change.”


▼设计概念 Design concept


▼平面示意 Plan scheme


▼剖面示意 Section scheme


▼底层平面 Ground floor plan


▼夹层平面 Mezzanine plan


▼剖面 Sections


▼大样图 Details




KANVA: 设计建筑师, 魁北克建筑师, 协调建筑师, 项目经理. 与NEUF建筑师合作
Bouthillette Parizeau inc.:机电工程
NCK inc.: 结构工程

Groupe GLT+: 建筑规范专家和成本顾问
Atelier 6: 规范编制
LightFactor: 照明设计顾问
La bande à Paul: 合作展览设计
Anick La Bissonnière: 合作集合设计
Nathalie Matte: 合作博物馆学家
Bélanger Design: 导向系统专家
Topo 3D: 土地测量
Soft dB: 声学专家

KANVA: Design Architect, Quebec Architect, Coordinating Architect, Project Manager. In collaboration with NEUF architect(e)s
Bouthillette Parizeau inc.: Electromechanical engineer
NCK inc.: Structural Engineer

Groupe GLT+: Building code specialist and cost consultant
Atelier 6: Specification writer
LightFactor: Lighting design consultant
La bande à Paul: Collaborating exhibition designer
Anick La Bissonnière: Collaborating set designer
Nathalie Matte: Collaborating museologist
Bélanger Design: Wayfinding specialist
Topo 3D: Land surveyor
Soft dB: Acoustics specialist


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