More Museums in Miami

Monday 21 Jun 2010

Officials clear the way for Herzog & de Meuron’s Miami Art Museum, Grimshaw’s Miami Science Museum

The waterfront in Miami is about to get a lot more active as city officials last week approved funds to begin the environmental remediation for a new waterfront parcel that will host two sparking new museums.

Plans are underway to remediate 8 acres of Museum Park, the 29-acre site that will include the new Miami Art Museum and the new Miami Science Museum, which recently unveiled its final plans.

Designed by London-based Grimshaw Associates, the new five-level Miami Science Museum knits a retro-modern look with contemporary lines and an expansive open-air sensibility while incorporating the latest sustainable and interactive technologies.

Sitting on a nearly four-acre site, the $275 million complex includes an outdoor ‘science playground’ and contains 250,000 square feet. The aim of the design, according to museum officials, is to provide a welcoming environment in keeping with South Florida’s unique subtropical climate.

Grimshaw’s design features four interconnected, terraced, tile-clad structures: an oblong ‘Living Core’ containing the aquarium and a Gulf Stream tank, a new planetarium orb, and two wings that form a ‘V,’ housing exhibition space, classrooms and cafes. All four structures are organized around an open-air atrium lined with terraces and shaded by a canopy punctured by skylights.

The Living Core, which will face the park, will have an open canopy shading several outdoor gardens and aquarium exhibits. At the core of the Living Core section will be a massive Gulf Stream tank with expansive views of the park and Biscayne Bay beyond it. The bottom of the tank will be angled and glassed in so visitors cans watch sharks, stingrays and other aquatic life.

The museum's west wing will house a cafe among other amenities. landscaping and other uses.

Construction is expected to start in the fall of 2011 with the complex opening in 2014. The other design team members are: Rodriguez and Quiroga Architects Chartered, executive architect; Thinc, Living Core design and development; ArquitectonicaGeo, landscape architect, Arup, structural, civil and specialty engineering; Atelier Ten, LEED management; Lord Cultural Resources, museum planning and Rana Creek Living Architecture, living architecture and green roof design. The Miami Art Museum, designed by the firm Herzog & de Meuron, is scheduled to break ground later this year and is expected to open in 2013.

Herzog & de Meuron's 120,000-square-foot building, which is designed to LEED sliver standards, will more than triple the size of the existing museum. The three-storey museum is set on a raised podium and under a broad canopy that extends from the museum's walls to form a shaded veranda and plazas. The canopy will have perforations to bring light into building where needed and will feature plantings cascading from the openings to form a garden-like setting.

The museum will house expanded gallery space and an educational complex that will contain a library, auditorium, classrooms, workshop space, and a café and store.

Jennifer Potash
News Editor

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