Museum of Tomorrow, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Museum of Tomorrow (Portugues: Museu do Amanhã) is a museum built in the municipality of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The building, project of the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, was erected next to the Plaza Mauá, in the port area (more precisely in Píer Mauá). Its construction was supported by the Roberto Marinho Foundation and had a total cost of approximately 230 million reais. The building was inaugurated on December 17, 2015 with the presence of former president Dilma Rousseff and received about 25 thousand visitors in its first weekend of operation.

The Museum of Tomorrow is a science museum in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was designed by Spanish neofuturistic architect Santiago Calatrava, and built next to the waterfront at Pier Maua. Its construction was supported by the Roberto Marinho Foundation and cost approximately 230 million reais. The building was opened on December 17, 2015 with President Dilma Rousseff in attendance.

The main exhibition takes visitors through five main areas: Cosmos, Earth, Anthropocene, Tomorrow and Now via a number of experiments and experiences. The museum mixes science with an innovative design to focus on sustainable cities.

The institution’s proposal is to be a museum of arts and sciences, as well as exhibits that warn of the dangers of climate change, environmental degradation and social collapse. The building has solar pimples that move along the skylight, designed to adapt to changing environmental conditions. The main exhibition is mostly digital and focuses on ideas rather than objects.

The museum has partnerships with major Brazilian universities, global scientific institutions and real-time data collection on the climate and population of space agencies and the United Nations. The institution also has consultants from various fields, such as astronauts, social scientists and climatologists.

The building was built on an artificial jetty, the Píer Mauá, at the level of Praça Mauá. Its construction cost 215 million reaisnote. 5,000 m2 of the museum are devoted to permanent and temporary exhibitions; The rest of the surface is occupied by an auditorium that can accommodate four hundred people, a bar, a restaurant, a shop, as well as the Laboratory of Exploration of Tomorrow, an area reserved for educational activities.

The building has a relatively small area of 15,000 m2 in total, but very long overhangs (75 meters towards the bay and 45 meters towards the city) extend it. Its height was limited to eighteen meters so as not to hide the Abbey Saint-Benoît (Sao Bento) from the bay. The roof of the building is equipped with 5 492 photovoltaic panels divided into twenty-four modules which allows them to orient themselves according to the time of day.

Funded by the Rio city government with support from sponsors, the building attempts to set new standards of sustainability in the municipality. Compared with conventional buildings, designers say it uses 40% less energy (including the 9% of its power it derives from the sun), and the cooling system taps deep water from nearby Guanabara Bay. The structure looks set to be one of Rio’s most famous tourist sights. Its solar spines and fan-like skylight have been designed so that the building can adapt to changing environmental conditions.

The museum has partnerships with Brazil’s leading universities, global science institutions and collects real-time data on climate and population from space agencies and the United Nations. It has also hired consultants from a range of related fields, including astronauts, social scientists and climate experts. It sits waterside in a port area that was left abandoned for decades, and is now being renovated with new office blocks, apartments and restaurants. The museum is part of the city’s port area renewal for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

As one of the anchors of the urban revitalization project called Porto Maravilha, the museum received in 2015, as a donation before its inauguration, the sculpture Puffed Star II, by the renowned American artist Frank Stella. The work consists of a twenty-pointed star six meters in diameter that was installed in the mirror of the museum, in front of the Guanabara Bay. The metal sculpture, before donating to the museum’s permanent open-air collection, was on display in New York City.

The Museum of Tomorrow was erected on the pier amidst a large green area. They are about 30 thousand square meters, with gardens, mirrors of water, bike path and leisure area. The building has 15 thousand m² and sustainable architecture. The architectural project, designed by Calatrava, uses natural resources from the site – such as the Guanabara Bay water, used in the interior of the museum and reused in the water mirror. Calatrava said that he was inspired by the bromeliads of the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro when designing the building.

The design of the Museum of Tomorrow was totally inspired by the landscape of the port area and Guanabara Bay. As an integral part of the Porto Maravilha Project, the Elevado da Perimetral was demolished in order to revitalize the port region of Rio. On the roof of the building, large steel structures, which move like wings, serve as a base for capture plates of solar energy. With this, the Museum of Tomorrow seeks the Leed (Energy Leadership and Environmental Design) certification, awarded by the Green Building Council (USGBC).

The intention of the Museum of Tomorrow is to inaugurate a new generation of science museums in the world, being considered “of third generation”, with a conception that positions it as the first global museum of “third generation”. The “first generation” of museums is geared to the vestiges of the past, such as the natural history museums. The “second generation” seeks to spread the evidence of the present, such as the science and technology museums. The “third generation” is intended to expose the changes, questions and exploration of future possibilities for humanity. It is in this last concept that the carioca museum fits.

The Museum of Tomorrow is a center of applied sciences where the findings of contemporary sciences are a part of a narrative that engages its visitors in a journey that explores the time of great changes in which we live and the many possible paths opening up for the next 50 years.

Guided by the ethical values of Sustainability and Conviviality, the Museum of Tomorrow invites our guests to consider the many different future scenarios that may result from the choices we make each day, as individuals, as a society, as Humans.

Main exhibit
The main exhibition of the Museum of Tomorrow works on the second floor of the building and was idealized by the doctor in cosmology Luiz Alberto Oliveira together with a team of consultants who worked on the conception of the collection. The section invites the visitor to go through an experience of five great narratives that go through the pavilions: Cosmos, Earth, Anthropocene, Tomorrow and Nodes. They bring the experience of life on earth with different time angles and cuts. Together, the main exhibit materials bring together more than 40 different experiences in three languages: Portuguese, Spanish and English, and win new pieces each year. Since the Museum’s inauguration until July 2017, the collection has received 234 updates, including the addition of photos, illustrations, information and videos.

The first module of visitation of the main exhibition is the Cosmos. In this pavilion, a group of visitors is formed to enter a dome covered with panels of video reproduction, where they watch an audiovisual work of about 8 minutes, in 360 degrees, realized by the Brazilian producer O2 Filmes. The film traces a narrative about the formation of the universe and life on earth with overlaps of digital animations and camera-captured images that cause great sensory impact to the public. The video is transmitted together with a text narrated in Portuguese, without subtitles, so that the visitor’s attention is not diverted.

The purpose of this second stage of the main exhibition is to make the visitor question about the question “Who are we?”. For this section, three large cubes, seven meters high, were built. One of them talks about life as matter. From the outside, the whole planet Earth is presented by a luminous panel. From the inside, it exposes the movements that make the globe work, like the flow of the winds, the oceans and the tectonic plates.

The second cube, designated to represent life, shows, on the outside wall, a diagram of the DNA of living beings. Inside, the second building exposes images of various organisms that make up an ecosystem, such as animals and plants.

The third and last cube represents the thought and presents, in the inner part, images and illustrations that portray of diverse moments, actions and feelings of the human life in the planet.

The third cut of the main exhibition at the Museum of Tomorrow is about how man’s action changed the geology of planet Earth, drawing a current picture and bringing data on the environmental and social impacts of this clash between humans and the planet.

The name “anthropocene” was taken from a term invented by Paul Crutzen, winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The Greek anthropo prefix is ​​related to the human being; and the suffix ceno remembers the geological ages.

To expose the numbers and facts, the Museum of Tomorrow raised six luminous totems, 10 meters high, which were arranged in circles. Accommodated in upholstered seats, visitors watch videos broadcast on these panels, aiming to question human action on planet Earth.

The fourth part of the visit to the museum’s main exhibition talks about the world and life on Earth in the future, trying to answer the question: “Where do we go?”. Built in an origami format, the pavilion has thirteen more screens that reveal information and at the same time estimate how the planet and life will be in the future, presenting concepts such as hyperconnectivity and rescuing the importance of sustainability.

The visitor is invited to interact with games, and one of them – called “The Game of Civilizations” – has, as an idea, to get participants to manage the resources of the planet for the next 50 years, in order to guarantee the preservation of humanity .

Another game presented in this section of the collection is the “Human,” a game developed by journalist and content producer Marcelo Tas, which aims to determine what kind of human being on the planet the museum visitor fits. For this, seven questions are asked about the personality of the players. The design of the game was approved by the Roberto Marinho Foundation, one of the supporters of the Museum of Tomorrow.

The end of the main exhibition is the pavilion “Nós”, where the visitor enters a kind of hollow, or house of the indigenous peoples of Brazil, that is acclimated with an illumination that simulates the birth and the sunset. The purpose of this exposure clipping is to get the visitor to reflect on themselves, and how their actions impact society and the planet.

To the center of the gape is the only museographic piece of the main exhibition of the Museum of Tomorrow: a churinga made of wood, found in an antiquarian in Paris. The object is a meaningful tool for the Aboriginal tribes of Australia. The inscriptions made in the 2-meter-high piece link a past, present and future, and are designs that correlate with the proposal of the main exhibition of the Museum of Tomorrow.

The Museum of Tomorrow is an initiative of Rio de Janeiro’s Municipal Government, devised and achieved with Roberto Marinho Foundation, an institution connected to Grupo Globo. It has Banco Santander as its Master Sponsor, Shell as sponsor, and the support of the State Government through its Environment State Secretariat, and of the Federal Government via Finep (Funder for Studies and Projects). The institution is part of a museum network supported by the Local Cultural Office. The IDG (the Management Development Institute) is responsible for the administration of the museum.