Museum of Tomorrow by Santiago Calatrava Opens in Rio de Janeiro

Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the Museu do Amanhã (the Museum of Tomorrow), is set to open its doors in Rio de Janeiro’s burgeoning Puerto Maravilha neighborhood. Conceived as an innovative cultural space addressing the future of the planet, the design of the museum is influenced by local culture and, through its architecture, explores the relationship between the city and the natural environment. “The city of Rio de Janeiro is setting an example to the world of how to recover quality urban spaces through drastic intervention and the creation of cultural facilities such as the Museum of Tomorrow,” said Calatrava. “This vision led us, in our first designs, to propose the addition of a plaza outside the museum,” the architect added. “The plaza creates a more cohesive urban space and reflects the neighbourhood’s greater transformation.” The building is oriented along the north-south axis, perpendicular to the bay. This highlights the horizontal of the design, which includes a massive trussed roof capped with solar panels that move to follow the position of the sun. The roof is supported by curving white ribs. A half circle-shaped window tops the entrance. Water from the bay is used to cool the building and feed the large reflecting pools on both ends of the museum. The water is then returned back into the sea. Inside, the museum includes temporary and permanent exhibition areas, a 400-seat auditorium, an education centre, cafe and gift shop. The museum will explore topics such as climate change and population growth, changes in biodiversity, genetic engineering and bioethics, and new advances in technology.