Expo architecture – In celebration of the upcoming 50th anniversary of Montreal Expo 1967, New York-based practice Dror proposes a new vision for Île Sainte-Hélène: an enchanting 150-meter-wide aluminum sphere covered in greenery and hosting a cultural space that dialogues with Richard Buckminster Fuller’s Biosphere pavilion.
“Interacting like the sun and the moon, our concept engages in a poetic dance with Buckminster Fuller’s design, realizing the park’s potential in a contemporary context,” explains Dror Benshetrit, founder of the studio.
The project, 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, Dror proposal offers a 21st century backdrop for year-round events: festivals, fairs, concerts, installations, food markets, performances and hackathons. “Structural and landscape specialists affirm that it is a responsible and achievable construction, able to welcome up to 60,000 guests, within 2 years” say at Dror.
RELATED STORIES: Planets-like architectures are quite common at Expos and international fairs. Check the human beehive of UK Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015, the globe-centred master plan of Astana 2017 and the circulare shapes of Dubai 2020 sustainability pavilion. Let’s not forget also the neglected Unisphere of New York Expo 1965 and the concrete planet installation at the centre of the master plan of the Dominican Republic propaganda show off in 1955.
Dror 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, 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.
“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.”
Founded in 2002, Dror is a holistic design practice devoted to reimagining the built world through transformation. The New York-based studio’s ideas, manifested in transformative objects, environments and experiences, disrupt convention for the benefit of the greater good. Working across all scales.
All images: courtesy of Dror.