Positioned at the Pacific mouth of the Panama Canal, the Biomuseo designed by Frank Gehry is the architect's first foray into Latin America. Celebrating Panama's unique biodiversity and role in the development of both regional and global natural history, the museum is the culmination of work by an international team of architects, designers and members of the scientific community.
Biomuseo is promoted by The Amador Foundation, a Panamanian non-profit organisation, and is uniquely affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute whose experts, along with those from the University of Panama, have curated the scientific content. The conceptual design of the museum’s galleries is the work of leading design firm Bruce Mau Design.
Gehry, whose spouse is Panamanian, insisted from the outset that the building must have a significant function as well as being a national iconic. The building aims to be a landmark for global concern about the environment as well as informing the world of Panama's diverse natural heritage.
The position of the museum at the beginning of the Amador Causeway is significant - in the same way that the Panama canal is the gateway between oceans, the museum aims to be a gateway to knowledge. The building directs the viewer's gaze to the landscape and integrates with it, colourfully emulating Panama's biodiversity, the canal architecture (roofs and architectural forms) and the ships that pass along the canal. Panama City forms the museum's backdrop. The broad aim of the museum is to show the world how the emergence of the Isthmus of Panama changed the history of our planet. In its unique, striking and colourful design, Biomuseo is also planting Panama on the map of global architecture.
The first phase of the Biomuseo opens today 2 October 2014.
Name of Main Exhibit: Panama: Bridge of Life
Architect: Frank Gehry
Main Exhibition Design: Bruce Mau
Landscaping: Edwina Von Gal