grimshaw architects: the patricia and phillip frost museum of science, miami
grimshaw architects: the patricia and phillip frost museum of science, miami grimshaw architects: the patricia and phillip frost museum of science, miami
mar 06, 2013

grimshaw architects: the patricia and phillip frost museum of science, miami

‘the patricia and phillip frost museum of science’ by grimshaw architects, miami, florida, USA image © grimshaw architects



centered around the idea of ‘building as exhibit’, the grimshaw-designed patricia and phillip frost museum of science will contain a ‘living core’ comprised of an aquarium and wildlife center that act as a microcosm of south florida’s local ecology. the new facilities are an architecture of response, complete with vegetated roof surfaces that provide a home to local flora and fauna, shade and shelter and a rain water and gray water collection system.plaza spaces are energized by the outdoors and complement a constructed wetland used to control storm water runoff. the project aims to create a model of large scale sustainability with high performance ventilation and air-conditioning systems. exterior spaces are oriented to optimize the prevailing breeze afforded by the nearby bay. air movement has also been evaluated for hurricane preparedness and has greatly informed the shape of the building.



an interior view of the curved planetarium image © grimshaw architects



formal spaces below the tilted cone of the ‘gulf stream tank’ image © grimshaw architects



the angle of deflection and water refraction will prevent visitors from perceiving the tank walls, thereby mimicking the open ocean image © grimshaw architects



the heart of the complex is a veritable biosystem, with a tensile fabric membrane roof covering the impressive ‘gulf stream tank’, a 500.000 gallon tilted conical aquarium that allows visitors to peer through a 30 foot diameter oculus. aside from creating interior effects through the refraction of light through water, the geometric parameters of the resevoir are such that patrons will not be able to perceive the structure’s walls, mimicking the environment of the open ocean. engineered for longevity, the form is a monolithic concrete shell reinforced by a radially columned ring beam in the basin’s center of mass. while the living core’s glazed courtyard and aquarium might frame the starting point of each visit, the museum will also contain science galleries and a planetarium, a prominently round feature of the architecture’s formal makeup. the building is served well by public transport, car and pedestrian walkways and is part of a greater ‘museum park’ neighboring the herzog & demeuron design for the miami art museum, covered in progress by designboom here, as well as the performing arts center and arena. slated to open in spring of 2015, this center will provide an environmental context for a burgeoning intellectual and cultural region of the city by furthering the study of the physical, natural and technological world.




the curved aquarium also connects to open air plazas at the entrance level image © grimshaw architects



the’ gulf stream tank’ will be surrounded by ample greenery and protected by tensile fabric membrane image © grimshaw architects



glazed entanceways create comfortable arcades for circulation image © grimshaw architects



the museum complex balances outdoor and enclosed areas image © grimshaw architects



the overall form of the building optimizes bay breezes image © grimshaw architects



proximity to the bay and landscape make the museum park a destination image © grimshaw architects



the site is a burgeoning cultural center with its herzog and demeuron-designed neighbor image © grimshaw architects



site rendering shows a connection to public transport, pedestrian paths and nearness to major roads image © grimshaw architects



animated flythrough video of the complex image © grimshaw architects / miami science museum


floor plan level -1 image © grimshaw architects



floor plane entrance level image © grimshaw architects



floor plan level 2image © grimshaw architects



floor plan level 3image © grimshaw architects



floor plan level 4 image © grimshaw architects



floor plan level 5 image © grimshaw architects



floor plan level 6 image © grimshaw architects




project info:


contract value: $114.300 million site start date: late 2010 (soil remediation) completion date: 2015 area: 250.000 square feet design architect: grimshaw executive architect: rodriguez and quirogastructural engineer: arup / dda mep: arup / fragalife support systems: syska hennessey / montgomery watson harzacivil engineer: a.d.a. engineeringmuseum planner: lord cultural resourceslandscape design: arquitectonica geocost/owner’s rep: oppenheim lewissustainable systems: atelier tenexhibit designer: thinc / lyons zarembaaudio/visuals/special technology: visual acuityarchitectural specification: the friday groupfaçade engineering: arup / heitmannlighting design: arup / studio 321fire & life safety: arup/ fickesacoustics: arup / acentechav/it: arup / fragasecurity: arup / fraga vertical transportation: barker mohandaswind tunnel engineer: rwdi usaconstruction manager: suffolk construction company, inc

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