The 4,000 square metre scheme contains eight permanent exhibition galleries designed in consultation with scientists at the nearby Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. The $60 million 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.
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 colour 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.
The Panama Biomuseo marks Gehry’s first project in Latin America.