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Museum of Tomorrow

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Museum of Tomorrow exterior

The Museum of Tomorrow is an applied science museum that aims to explore, imagine, and conceive possibilities for creating the future. Guided by the ethical values of sustainability and coexistence, the Museum seeks to promote innovation, disseminate the advances of science, and publish the vital signs of our planet.

Within a soaring Santiago Calatrava building that features a cantilevered roof with large mobile wings, RAA was asked to create exhibitions across 5,000 square meters. Visitors enter from a ground-level plaza then ascend to an upper level via two long ramps—one designed for children, the other for adults—that terminate in windows overlooking Guanabara Bay. From there, they pass through a vestibule that rotates 180 degrees and deposits them into a high-ceilinged, nave-like gallery running the building’s length. The permanent exhibition features panoramic views of the Bay and the Sao Bento Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We conceived a permanent exhibition divided into five main areas, one for each of the museum’s guiding questions: the Cosmos, the Earth, the Anthropocene, Tomorrows, and Us. To highlight the architectural design, most exhibits are freestanding. Interactive environments and audiovisual and gaming elements are based on scientific studies conducted by experts and the incoming flow of data from partner institutions across the world. Topics explored include climate change and population growth, changes in biodiversity, genetic engineering and bioethics, and new advances in technology.

Located on the Maua Pier, the Museum of Tomorrow is part of a larger revitalization of the Porto Maravilha. The project allows for better integration between the port district and the city center, and is helping to make this neighborhood one of the most attractive in the city.

Size 23,000 square feet

Year 2016

Architect Santiago Calatrava

Project Details