The future is here

Opening today: Tomorrow - that is, Rio's Museum of Tomorrow.

For five years, a museum had been planned for the Porto Maravilha area in the city's centre. The futuristic-looking 15,000 sq m museum, inaugurated by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, will open its doors to the public today. It is one of the main works to revitalise the port of Rio de Janeiro prior to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in August.

The museum will focus on science and environmental issues such as climate change, new technology improvements, and changes in biodiversity, genetic engineering and bioethics.

It has 5,000 sq m of exhibition space with a 7,600 sq m plaza that wraps around the building and extends along the dock by Guanabara Bay. It has eco-friendly features such as moving solar panels that follow the sun's movements. It also has a cooling system that takes water from the bay to cool the building and fill the large reflecting pools. The water is then returned to the sea.

The building, by award-winning Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, is part of a larger revitalisation of the neighbourhood.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 19, 2015, with the headline 'The future is here'. Print Edition | Subscribe