panama biomuseo by frank gehry ready for grand opening panama biomuseo by frank gehry ready for grand opening
feb 13, 2014

panama biomuseo by frank gehry ready for grand opening

panama biomuseo by frank gehry ready for grand opening
photo © victoria murillo / istmophoto.com
all images courtesy of biomuseo

 

 

 

panama’s biomuseo is set to open its doors to the public, almost ten years after construction began. designed by frank gehry, the cultural institution explores the isthmus and the diverse range of species which inhabit the region. the development is conceived as a catalytic structure which will serve as a beacon for the country and its population.

 

the 4,000 square meter scheme contains eight permanent exhibition galleries designed in consultation with scientists at the nearby smithsonian tropical research institute. the $60 milllion USD project also houses temporary gallery space, a public atrium, a museum shop and a café, while various outdoor exhibits can be displayed within a landscaped botanical garden.

frank gehry biomuseum in panama designboom
the development is conceived as a landmark structure serving as a beacon for the country
photo © victoria murillo / istmophoto.com

 

 

 

located at the entrance to the panama canal, the biomuseo offers views across the water towards panama city and the old town. gehry’s fragmented and asymmetrical design comprises undulating roof panels, a collage of form and color which reflect the area’s tropical environment. appealing to a broad range of visitors, the scheme combines art with science and will host cultural events throughout the year, such as music concerts and private functions.

 

for previous designboom’s previous coverage of frank gehry’s ‘biomuseo’, see here.

frank gehry biomuseum in panama designboom
the cultural institution explores the isthmus and the diverse range of species which inhabit the region
photo © victoria murillo / istmophoto.com

frank gehry biomuseum in panama designboom
gehry’s fragmented and asymmetrical design features an undulating canopy
photo © victoria murillo / istmophoto.com

frank gehry biomuseum in panama designboom
the color of the roof panels reflect the region’s tropical environment
photo © victoria murillo / istmophoto.com

frank gehry biomuseum in panama designboom
the scheme offers views across the water towards panama city
photo © victoria murillo / istmophoto.com

frank gehry biomuseum in panama designboom
photo © victoria murillo / istmophoto.com

frank gehry biomuseum in panama designboom
stairway approach to the museum
photo © victoria murillo / istmophoto.com

frank gehry biomuseum in panama designboom
the undulating and folded roof panels
photo © victoria murillo / istmophoto.com

frank gehry biomuseum in panama designboom
skylight bringing natural light into the exhibition space
photo © victoria murillo / istmophoto.com

 

  • OMG. Its amazing how the storm that destroyed this building didn’t break any of its glass and I am amazed that
    the paint wasn’t damaged more than it was.
    Too bad there wasn’t more stainless steel available.

    Ron Smith says:
  • My lifetime can only take so much of Gehry and H. Zadid. Enough already!

    nelsondreyes architect says:
  • Wow, that’s a horrible looking building.

    dan says:
  • Wow, I think that’s the ugliest building I have ever seen in my life.

    peter says:
  • I think its awesome!

    Aashim says:
  • It’s a children’s museum.

    I just ran it by a 7-year old: “Cool. It’s full of shapes! Can we go there?”

    Sounds like a formal win to me! I kind of like that entrance myself: a kind of cubist explosion over above a podium — strikes me as a play on “the approach to the Acropolis”, not untypical at all for Western museums and cultural institutions.

    And $60 million strikes me as surprisingly reasonable for an institutional piece of this size and complexity:

    http://biomuseopanama.org/en/node/279

    I’ve worked on institutional projects in the U.S. where considerably larger budgets seemed to result in considerably more anonymous buildings with much more limited programs.

    The construction time (“ten years”) seems a bit odd, but I don’t see any explanation indicating it’s GA’s fault. A great many projects ground to a near-halt in many parts of the world over the last half-dozen years as a result of the global recession.

    Lewis Wadsworth says:
  • Peter,Peter, Peter. Anything Frank does is not only beautiful but amazing. I first got into the design business in 1959 after seeing what Arthur Ericson could do with a garage. The garage is now owned by UBC. Franks’ buildings are not ticky, taky, houses on the hill side. They are works of art. Take and other look. Marjorie

    Marjorie Bergenstein says:
  • what a brilliant beacon! supose that the sun is reflected sometimes depending on the hour

    daniel naudeix says:
  • Asymmetric Beauty!

    Neelam says:
  • The negative comments remind me of how folks hated the Eiffel Tower, the Space Needle, and other buildings or structures that are different from the norm. Only a total sourpuss could dislike this building. Why not have color and fun in our buildings?

    Helen says:
  • …wow! the comments above obviously emanate from individuals unaccustomed to architecture that can be playful and unique while serving the purpose of the structure. wow, what a quaint group of observers.

    Mark says:
  • I love it – the colors -the design. Fits in with Panama- exactly!!!!

    Devi says:
  • wow….beautiful…I love Gehry…it is a wonderful building…!!!

    irene says:
  • many of these comments are hilarious and many are right on the money like those who remembered that the most controversial design often becomes the most iconic and beloved. look how beautifully it suits its landscape. certainly this building is as significant to Panama as the Sydney Opera House signifies Australia. i live in Panama and i love it.

    cole says:

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