In celebration of the upcoming 50th anniversary of Expo 67, the monumental World Fair that took place in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1967, Dror proposes a new vision for Île Sainte-Hélène: an enchanting cultural space that embraces R. Buckminster Fuller’s Biosphere. The 50th anniversary of Expo 67, coinciding with the 375th anniversary of the city’s founding, will begin April 27, 2017, a year from tomorrow.
The dynamic concept, envisioned for an open area of Parc Jean-Drapeau, provides both a place for reflection and gathering under a planted canopy. Presenting a hybrid framework for nature and technology, the 150-meter-wide aluminum dome, with its vegetated sound buffer, offers a 21st century backdrop for year-round events: festivals, fairs, concerts, installations, food markets, performances and hackathons.
The studio developed the concept following a tour of the island with the Buckminster Fuller Institute to initiate a discussion around reinvigorating seasonally-used grounds. Largely influenced by Fuller, studio founder Dror Benshetrit suggests that the dome provides a companion to the American architect’s lonesome structure, originally built as the United States pavilion for Expo 67. “Interacting like the sun and the moon, our concept engages in a poetic dance with Fuller’s design, realizing the park’s potential in a contemporary context,” he explains.
Structural and landscape specialists affirm that it is a responsible and achievable construction, able to welcome up to 60,000 guests, within 2 years.
“As with 1967, 2017 is not just another celebration—it’s the opportunity for a new beginning,” Benshetrit concludes. “Our living dome is a catalyst for dreaming. The possibilities are endless.”
*This is a speculative concept at the moment, aiming to provide an alternate vision to Parc Jean-Drapeau's development plan. As such, it is not scheduled for construction.