In 1967, Canada celebrated its centennial anniversary and Montreal hosted the party. And some party it was. Expo 67 proved a watershed moment for the young country, signalling a bold transformation into a multicultural and assertively urban nation, and leaving no shortage of architectural icons in its wake. Take Buckminster Fuller’s Montreal Biosphere: After serving as the expo’s American pavilion, the geodesic showpiece became a museum dedicated to the environment. Half a century later, it is a monument to the era’s optimism – and a fitting springboard to imagine the city of the future.
Dubbed MTL+, the Biosphere’s new architectural exhibition sets out to do exactly that. In collaboration with Kollectif.net, the museum called upon 14 leading Montreal architectural firms to share their visions of Montreal in 2067.
Curated by Philippe Lupien and Mathieu Régnier, the show emerged from a brief that asks designers to consider the adaptation of infrastructure that is otherwise likely to be abandoned by 2067. Each of the 14 design studios took on the challenge of shaping a discrete part of the city’s geography – ranging from bustling urban neighbourhoods to the waters of the Saint Lawrence Seaway, a highway interchange and a former municipal dump.
“Some are delving into philosophical proposals while others have very technical proposals,” Lupien says of the 14 projects. Taken together, they offer “a panoramic view of architectural thinking today,” and a bold prescription for a resilient future.
Now on display as a permanent Biosphere exhibition, MTL+ also features videos – hosted exclusively by Azure – that delve into each of the 14 projects. Allons-y:
The permanent exhibition brings together 14 local design teams to chart an architectural roadmap for the future.