The Biosphere (French: Biosphère) is an interactive museum showcasing and exploring the water ecosystems of the Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence River regions. The museum, inaugurated in 1995 as a water museum, is a set of enclosed buildings designed by Éric Gauthier. It offers interactive activities and presents exhibitions about the major environmental issues related to water, climate change, air, ecotechnologies, and sustainable development. Thanks to its original shape, the Biosphere is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Montreal. It’s located in the heart of Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Sainte-Hélène.
A landmark Montreal museum and an architectural masterpiece, the Biosphere was built for Expo ’67 as the U.S. Pavilion, based on a design by Buckminster Fuller who described it as a geodesic dome. The building originally formed an enclosed structure of steel and acrylic cells, 76 meters (250 feet) in diameter and 62 meters (200 feet) high. Its acrylic bubble layer burnt in 1976 in one of the more spectacular fires in Montreal’s history but the steel latticework remained.
The Biosphere is one of the most striking structures in Montreal. Its top floor offers panoramic views of downtown Montréal and the St. Lawrence River. This unique building also uses green technologies, including wind turbines, green roof systems, a geothermal system, wastewater treatment wetlands and a living wall.
As an environment museum, the Biosphère presents permanent and temporary exhibitions, events for the general public and guided activities. Its main focus is sustainability, making it a great venue for information, awareness and education on the major environmental issues related to water, air, climatic changes, sustainable development and responsible consumption. Visit its educational exhibitions to get a better understanding of major environmental issues: air, water, biodiversity, climate change, sustainable development, and much more. You can also take part in its animated activities and special events to learn about the solutions available to you in daily life to protect the environment.