rio de janeiro: museu do amanhã opening

© museu do amanhã / photography: byron prujanski

it's 2016 and rio de janeiro's time to shine. but while the summer olympics are still a few months off, a striking new structure in the city already steals the global limelight. we're talking the museu do amanhã – or simply museum of tomorrow in english – a striking elongated structure with 15,000 sqm. [161,459 sq.ft.] of floor space, situated on a pier which juts into the wideness of the atlantic ocean. it's set up as a science museum and symbolizes the kick-off as it is one of the pillars of the ambitious porta maravilhosa urban redevelopment plan for the area. designed by acclaimed spanish architect santiago calatrava, it's just as modern as it looks, meeting the green building council's standards for leed certification.

this means using water from guanabara bay for its air conditioning system and the reflecting pools that surround the building, while large, steel pieces on the roof hold solar panels that shift to follow the sun’s movement all day long, and the expansive lush greens created by brazilian landscaping studio burle marx, featuring native species and plants from the coastal region. officially, the striking aesthetic of museu do amanhã aims to respect the area's historic context – and obviously all the landmarks that can be found there – but we rather choose to believe it gives a reviving impulse by standing out.

so, what's on display? as a science museum it's all about exploration, reflection and planning of possibilities for the future, and does so by taking the anthropocene era, the geologic era in which we live and started to create a global impact on earth's ecosystems, as a starting point. providing free access to visitors, museu do amanhã presents a permanent main exhibition and an additional program of rotating satellite shows, which are all connected to the aforementioned perspective, using installations, screenings, images and interactive games based on scientific research. last but certainly not least, museu do amanhã doubles as an educational institution which both receives and disseminates information in the field of science, while it'll also serve as an actively engaging platform for relevant debates. location: praça mauá 1 [centro].

© museu do amanhã / photography: byron prujanski, bernard lessa and césar barreto