The Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science in Miami will feature a design that’s just as much of an exhibit as the attractions and learning opportunities offered within, containing a ‘living core’ comprised of an aquarium and wildlife center. These two main components will act as a ‘microcosm of South Florida’s local ecology’, a showcase of the many dazzling native species of the area. Grimshaw Architects has designed it to be sustainable on a large scale, too.
The museum’s most stunning feature is a 500,000-gallon tilted conical aquarium with a 30-foot-diameter oculus, allowing visitors to peer into a tank full of sharks and other sea creatures. The angle of the glass will make it virtually invisible from below, so that it feels as if you’re in the ocean with them.
One level up, you can peer into the top of this tank. The open-air gulf stream tank is covered with a tensile fabric membrane. Science galleries and a planetarium will revolve around the central living core, with the planetarium standing out in the structure’s courtyard as a major architectural feature.
Green roofs providing a home to local flora and fauna, a rainwater collection system and ac obstructed wetland used to control storm water runoff are among the sustainability-minded aspects of the design; it will also feature a high-performance ventilation and air conditioning system, and is optimized to take advantage of breezes off the nearby bay. It’s slated to open in spring 2015.