With a view to excellence, in compliance with the requirements of the Ordre des architectes du Québec, an international architectural competition was launched by the executive committee of the City of Montréal in October 2008. The concepts put forward had to include some important elements, including:
- Two star theatres
- A surface area of 8000 m2
- A targeted LEED certification of: PLATINUM
The competition was held in two stages:
- A public tender invited firms to anonymously submit an architectural concept for the new planetarium. Sixty-one (61) architectural firms submitted a concept proposal. A ten-member jury (half were architects, the others included a schools expert, a design expert, a LEED expert and a museum expert) evaluated the proposals and recommended five projects.
- Five finalists, supported by a team of specialists, developed their concepts.
The same jury recommended a winning team, a joint venture between the Cardin Ramirez Julien + Aedifica firms, in association with SNC Lavalin, and Dupras Ledoux Fauteux et Associés Landscape Architects for the second stage of the competition. This interdisciplinary team included specialists in Quebec LEED certification with a keen interest in building promoting renewable energy and sustainable development.