Rio receives from OAS a Museum that debates the future

Rio receives from OAS a Museum that debates the future

The future has come to the Mauá Pier, in Guanabara Bay. December 19, 2015 has seen the inauguration of one of the world’s most innovative science museums. The Museu do Amanhã [Museum of Tomorrow] came to help us learn about the past, understand the changes we are causing to our planet, and choose the paths we wish to follow for the next 50 years.

The immersive audiovisual environments and interactive facilities give visitors the chance to contemplate the magnitude of climate changes, biodiversity reduction, and other transformations resulting of human activities. In the museum’s observatory, Observatório do Amanhã, one can check information from important science and technology research centers.

The Museu do Amanhã is a space to reflect about our roots and our future. It is located in a building with bold lines designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, who is known worldwide for works such as the Queen Sofía Palace of the Arts (Sevilla, Spain) and the Turning Torso building (Malmo, Sweden).

OAS was responsible for the civil construction and gave life to Calatrava’s creative boldness. The structure, which to some may look like a bromeliad plant and to others, a sea animal, posed great challenges to the company’s engineers. One of the biggest developments of the work at the Mauá Pier is the air-suspended structure pointing towards the Guanabara Bay. The 75-meter gap is the longest one of the kind ever built in Brazil.

It is a state-of-the-art project with a futuristic geometric design where the work team had to deal with irregular shapes. The museum is a rudimentary cylinder that fits into a rudimentary cube. The walls are different from each other. In other words, all this demanded a lot from the whole team. Still, the work met admirable deadlines.

With the hands of one thousand workers during more intense times, the works were extended through several nights. Concrete pouring took only ten months, efficiency which got compliments from the Spanish architect. The work challenges required a heavy use of cranes. For the metal coverage, a bridge crane capable of lifting parts with up to 150 tons was used.

The museum, which when seen from distance seems to be floating on the Guanabara Bay, brought a few specific challenges, as it was built on the seafront. The 55 thousand tons of concrete and 3,800 tons of metal structures of the building are supported by 2,500 piles, of which one thousand are fixed to rocks. To face the corrosive sea air, the metal parts were coated with a mix of paint and resin used on submarines.

The complexity of the work required the help of foreign partners, who worked together in the creation of one of the world’s most innovative museums. The project was prepared by a German office. The metal structure was under the responsibility of a Portuguese company. A Spanish group was in charge of the curved glasses.


The Museu do Amanhã aims to be the next live proof that the future starts now. Therefore, it complies with the LEED’s (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification standards, granted by the well-known Green Building Council Brasil. The seal acknowledges environmental, economic, and social sustainability criteria in enterprises.

The temperature at Museu do Amanhã will be controlled by means of a temperature control system that uses the water of the Guanabara Bay to cool down the air conditioner. The water is filtered before being returned to the sea.

Part of the energy consumed on the two floors of the building will be generated through 5,600 photovoltaic plates. Structures on the roof of the building will be operating throughout the day to capture the greatest possible amount of sunlight, which then will be converted into electricity.

Porto Maravilha

The construction of the Museu do Amanhã is the newest chapter of the Porto Maravilha Operation, a strategic effort of the Rio de Janeiro’s City Hall, which is relying on a public-private partnership to recover and give back to Rio de Janeiro citizens and tourists the port area of the Rio de Janeiro capital, which went through a heavy degradation process in the last decades.

The Museu do Amanhã, an initiative of the Rio de Janeiro City Hall and Fundação Roberto Marinho, is located next to Praça Mauá – a city landmark –, which was fully rebuilt by the Porto Novo Concessionaire, of which OAS is a member, and delivered to the public on September 6, 2015.

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