A peek inside the Montreal Biôdome renovations
City says project is on budget and still on schedule to reopen in 2019
Step inside the Biodôme today and it is scarcely recognizable. In the midst of a major renovation and with all the animals in temporary homes, the new Biodôme will be more open-concept, with elevated walkways allowing visitors to walk above the different environments.
Rami Bebawi, the architect in charge of the renovation, says they wanted to open up the Biodôme, giving visitors new points of view and letting more natural light inside.
"It's enormously complex," said Bebawi, adding that several weeks into the renovation, they are still finding architectural quirks of the building.
The renovation, which started last spring, is currently on time and on budget, said Laurence Lavigne Lalonde, the city's executive committee member responsible for the project.
"It is still planned to [reopen] at the end of September 2019, there have not been delays," said Lalonde.
Director Yves Paris says the renovation will offer visitors an "experience of discovery."
"Access to the tropical rainforest from above will be an exceptional experience."
Visitors will also be able to use a mobile app to allow them to learn more about what they're seeing.
Paris said they are also thinking about creating set hours for groups so the museum isn't overloaded with visitors.
The Biodôme opened in 1992, inside the building that served as the velodrome during the 1976 Olympics.
It includes five unique environments, each with flora and fauna indigenous to a tropical rainforest, Laurentian maple forest, Gulf of St. Lawrence, Labrador coast and sub-Antarctic islands.
With files from Radio-Canada's Normand Grondin