The Biomuseo, the innovative biodiversity museum designed by starchitect Frank Gehry, has finally opened today in Panama after a ten-year-long construction period. The building's colorful origami-like canopies were designed in reference to the richly diverse flora and fauna of Panama, one of the most biodiverse places in the world. The high-profile museum is Gehry's first project in Latin America.
Biomuseo is prominently sited on the highly visible Amador Causeway at the Pacific mouth of the Panama Canal.
The 44,132-square-foot building will serve as a major civic and educational resource for the residents of Panama.
Developers hope Biomuseo will also be an attractive tourist destination.
The Biomuseo was completed after a ten-year-long construction period.
The museum houses a series of permanent exhibitions created by Bruce Mau Design.
It is surrounded by a new 6-acre Biodiversity Park designed by Gehry in collaboration with landscape designer Edwina von Gal.
Gehry centered the Biomuseo on a public open-air atrium covered by a sequence of multicolored metal canopies.
The canopies evoke Panama's local vernacular of tin roofs and colorful facades.
The origami-like roofs also help protect the interior from the region's wet-season downpour and wind gusts.
A museum store, cafe, and a temporary exhibition space branch out from the central atrium.
The Biomuseo offers sweeping views of the canal.
The high-profile museum is Gehry's first project in Latin America.
The galleries use a mix of digital projections, acoustics, arts, and interpretative signage to tell the story of Panama's biodiversity and history.