Photo courtesy of Environnement et Changement climatique Canada
Parc Jean-Drapeau and Biosphere
One of Montréal’s most iconic landmarks was designed by an American, R. Buckminster Fuller. The Biosphere, an enormous geodesic dome, sits in Parc Jean-Drapeau on St. Helen's Island in the St. Lawrence River. Now considered one of the most important examples of futuristic architecture of its period, it was originally built as the U.S. Pavilion for Expo 67, the world's fair that took place in Montréal in 1967. It quickly proved to be one of the most popular attractions of the event. An acrylic skin originally covered the building, but that was destroyed in a fire in 1976 and never restored. The skeleton building remained intact, however, and it is arguably even more dramatic and elegant than before the fire. Today the Biosphere houses a kid-friendly Environment Museum, with interactive displays that introduce environmental concepts and address the issue of climate change.