Sudbury – The concept for the design of Science North was to create a building that looked like a snowflake perched atop a rock crater. The architects actually created two snowflakes. The smaller hexagonal building has administration offices, a restaurant and a cafeteria. The larger hexagon, the exhibit building. It sits on a rock outcrop 60 metres away at an elevation 15 metres higher.
The snowflake was chosen because it’s symbolic of the glaciation that sculpted Canada’s northern landscape. A snowflake is also a crystal, the basic component of so many natural minerals. The rock crater is symbolic of the Sudbury Basin. Sudbury is one of Canada’s largest mining centres.
The exterior of Science North’s glittering snowflakes is clad in stainless steel, the key ingredient of which is Sudbury’s nickel. The ‘Big Nickel’ (so big it could actually hold 64 million nickels) is one of the most notable features of the community, and it is where you’ll find the seven-story Dynamic Earth geosciences museum.
This all fits with the setting: Sudbury, which is about a five-hour drive north of Toronto, is located in the Sudbury Basin – the second largest known meter impact crater on earth. Sub-surface there are so many tunnels that placed end-to-end you could drive underground all the way to Vancouver.
The city has two art galleries, two theatre companies, a symphony and annual September film festival. For outdoor lovers there are 330 lakes in the Sudbury region, and Killarney Provincial Park (so beautiful it’s preservation was achieved by artists) is just over an hour southwest of the city on the north shore of Georgian Bay. Canada’s Neutrino Observatory is on the outskirts of town.
Science North, 100 Ramsey Lake Rd Sudbury, Ontario