H.R. MacMillan Planetarium, Vancouver

I’ve liked this building from childhood, but somehow I managed to see it with fresh eyes recently – I was late for an art event there, it was dusk, I was tired, the entry was deserted and somehow I suddenly noticed how ridiculously beautiful it is. It houses the Museum of Vancouver and the H.R. MacMillan Planetarium, famous in part for the Led Zep and Pink Floyd laser light shows which everyone steadfastly refuses to attend with me. I’ve been trying to get someone to go with me for years. The building’s shape probably references both flying saucers and the finely woven hats of the Salish First Nations on whose traditional lands Vancouver squats. The architect is George Hamilton and the building was completed in 1968; the stainless steel crab fountain (turned off for maintenance when I took these photos) is by sculptor George Norris. Click photos for more information.

H.R. MacMillan Planetarium, Vancouver

Vancouver Museum & Planetariumx

H.R. MacMillan Planetarium, Vancouver

Vancouver Museum & Planetarium

Planetarium H.R. MacMillan Planetarium, Vancouver

and these shots by ChimayBleue on Flickr:

H.R. Macmillan Space Centre (1968)

H.R. Macmillan Space Centre (1968)

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5 Responses to “Planetarium”

  1. ii-ne-kore Says:

    great breeze block detail. and i am not sure i have seen a more idyllic lakeside home than in your earlier post.

  2. john hopper Says:

    A beautifully styled building. Whenever there is the blanket negative response to twentieth century architecture, examples like this should be used as reference to how wrong that stance is!

  3. kgirl Says:

    I hope you caught the bike show. My kid was in it. I agree the building is a marvel.

  4. LB Says:

    Kgirl, yes, I saw her in it! (Saw the photo on your Flickr – so cute.) I know Toby and Pam and I thought their show looked fantastic, really well installed and well-researched (that black wall was great). And I think the revamped museum is going to be great. And to everyone, yes, the building is fantastic. It’s too bad the architect isn’t better known.


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