Projeto Porto Maravilha

Museum of Tomorrow


Designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the Museum of Tomorrow (Museu do Amanhã) is one of the anchors of the Porto Maravilha cultural area. Dedicated to the sciences, the facility will have a format unlike any other museum of natural history or of science and technology.

The Museum of Tomorrow will offer visitors the opportunity to engage in personal-choice experiences, have a glimpse of future possibilities and envision how they will live and shape the planet in the next fifty years. The space will explore variations on tomorrows in the fields of matter, life and thought and will debate questions like climate change, population growth and longevity, global integration, the world's increased diversity of material goods and its decreased natural diversity. It will be a museum where people can follow the trails of their imagination and make their own choices about the future more conscientiously and ethically.

Museu do Amanhã

The Museum of Tomorrow is an initiative of the City of Rio de Janeiro and the Roberto Marinho Foundation, with Banco Santander as master sponsor. Support will also come from the Government of the State of Rio de Janeiro, through its State Secretariat of the Environment; the Federal Government, through the funding agency FINEP (Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos); and the Municipal Secretariat of Ports. The Museum also partners in various ways with: the Smithsonian Institute and the California Academy of Sciences in the United States, Parc de La Villette in France, the Worldwatch Institute and the World Resources Institute, and Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (Embrapa).

The curator of the Museum of Tomorrow is Luiz Alberto Oliveira, physicist and doctor of cosmology. During the phase of curatorial conception, he was joined by Leonel Kaz, journalist and professor of Brazilian cultureAndrés Clerici is responsible for artistic direction and U.S. designer Ralph Appelbaum, for museographic design.

Luiz Alberto Oliveira followed three narrative threads in organizing museum content. The first is the polarity between the cosmic sciences - which encompass both enormous systems and tiny ones - and the earth sciences - that is, all others, including biology and the humanities. The second examines three dimensions of our lives on earth: the history of the formation of matter, the unfolding of the organization of life and the emergence of thought. Four major trends will be examined within these realms - trends that on a planetary scale define our common future: climate change; population growth and increased longevity; growing economic, social and communicational integration; and the multiplication and diversification of material goods in tandem with decreasing biomes. The third thread will highlight human behavior and ethics.

As one of the anchors of Porto Maravilha, the Museum of Tomorrow will stand in a large green area on Mauá Pier. The grounds will cover some 30,000 square meters (over 320,000 sq ft) and will feature gardens, a reflecting pool, a bike path and a recreation area. This sustainably built museum will have a floor space of 15,000 square meters (over 160,000 sq ft). Calatrava's architectural design incorporates the location's natural resources, like the water from Guanabara Bay, which will be used to cool the building and re-used in the reflecting pool. Huge steel structures that move like wings will form part of the museum's roof and serve as the base for solar panels. In view of all this, the Museum of Tomorrow will apply for LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Museu do Amanhã

Museu do Amanhã

The Museum of Tomorrow is one of the works that the City of Rio has contracted out to Porto Novo Consortium, as part of Brazil's largest public-private partnership. As with other Porto Maravilha initiatives, this US$106 million project will be financed through the sale of  Certificates of Potential Additional Construction (CEPACs), with no funds coming from municipal coffers. The museum will also receive investments of US$32 million from Banco Santander, its master sponsor. The museum is scheduled to open its doors in 2015.


Main hall: Cosmos, Context, Anthropocene and Tomorrow. Content will be divided into these four main areas within the central nave. But even before stepping into the building, visitors will be able to read a large mosaic of phrases on the outer patio, towards Mauá Square, suggestive of the main questions posed inside the museum: "Tomorrow is not a date, and it's not a place. Tomorrow is a work in progress." Just inside the entrance, videos will play clips of scientists, artists, celebrities and ordinary people talking about tomorrow, while screens will show inventions out of the past that one day opened the road to the future.

Cosmos: The cosmos is where it all begins. It is also the gateway to the journey proposed by the Museum of Tomorrow. Here the public will enjoy a sensory experience that moves from the void to the emergence of matter, space and time and, ultimately, to the appearance of man and thought.

Museu do Amanhã

Context: Through a number of exhibit resources, visitors will be encouraged to explore the planet's natural aspects and phenomena and to understand how they influence climate change and life cycles. At the entryway, a view of the earth from an astronaut's perspective reinforces the sensation that we have for the first time become conscious of our home as an integral whole. The organization of ecosystems, structuring of DNA, formation of biodiversity and evolution of the brain are other topics addressed in multimedia installations and environments.

Museu do Amanhã

Anthropocene: This leg of the journey is dedicated to thinking about today and about its characteristics and symptoms, like planetary expansion, our growing cities, increased consumption, the explosion of knowledge and the transformation of our natural environments. Large screens will show live news (selected TV channels, observation sites and so on) as it relates to human impact on the planet. The installations and experiences in this area propel visitors to a new awareness of their role in today's world.

Museu do Amanhã

Tomorrow: In the fourth area of the central route through the museum, Tomorrow emerges as the intertwining of five trends: climate change; population growth and longevity; the increasing integration and diversification of individuals, peoples and regions; the rising numbers, varieties and capabilities of material goods; and declining biodiversity. The setting will encourage visitors to reflect on how we live. Are our actions sustainable? Through projections, installations and interactive games, visitors can measure the impact of human choices on our climate, ecosystems and societies. In the space entitled The Tomorrows We Want (Amanhãs que Queremos), the visitor will be prompted to imagine a future in which interpersonal relationships are closer and friendlier.

Museu do Amanhã

Side galleries:
Timeline and Form and Structure Line. Located in one of the museum's side galleries, a Timeline will tell our planet's history from the birth of the universe to the appearance of language and languages. On the opposite side, a Form and Structure Line will detail the organization of matter, life and thought.

End of walk-through:
Coexistence and Sustainability. This section will finalize the journey through the Museum of Tomorrow. These exhibits will let museum goers envision a gamut of experiences and leave the museum aware that they are part of the process of building the future.

Museu do Amanhã


From the belvedere - where the central nave and side galleries come together - visitors are treated to a panoramic view of Guanabara Bay, an ecosystem that has been directly altered by human hand. Along the two exit ramps, various media will show information on practices that promote the bay's environmental health as well as actions that endeavor to make Rio a place conducive to more relational living. In the gardens, forested areas represent Rio de Janeiro's two major ecosystems: the Atlantic forest and the restinga, a type of coastal tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest unique to Brazil. In addition to its permanent exhibit spaces, the museum will have a Temporary Exhibit Hall; a Professional Reference Center of Tomorrow, where students and professionals who want to devote themselves to science, technology and innovation can receive guidance, recruitment and training; and the Observatory of Tomorrow, where findings from the latest research on the planet's natural and social phenomena will be on display. There will also be an auditorium, cafeteria and museum store.

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Last updated in Feb 2014