Museum of Tomorrow receives “Best Innovative Green Building” MIPIM Award

The currently most-visited museum in Brazil has been selected for its unique design, use of local resources and innovative exhibits

© Sérgio Huoliver 2015

Santiago Calatrava’s Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro won “Best Innovative Green Building” from the MIPIM Awards, a world-renowned competition organized by MIPIM, the leading international trade fair for real estate that takes place in Cannes annually.

When selecting The Museum of Tomorrow as this year’s “Best Innovative Green Building”, the awards committee highlighted its unique building design and commitment to creating a better future. The Museum’s sustainable architecture reflects the function of the museum and is constructed primarily from local materials. Among its innovative features are solar panels that move with the sun to maximize energy absorption, the collection of reusable rainwater, and an air conditioning system that uses water funneled from Guanabara Bay. This water is then filtered, cleaned and returned back to the Bay through a small waterfall.

Water conservation is a critical component of the Museum’s sustainable features. All of the water in the museum’s washbasins, sinks and showers is treated and recycled, along with the water used to  dehumidify the air, which can reach up to 4,000 liters of water per day. These efforts save an estimated 9.6 million liters of water and 2,400 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity each year ­ enough to sustain over 1,200 homes. The Museum of Tomorrow is also the first museum in Brazil to receive LEED Gold certification. Finally, Burle Marx oversaw the landscaping around the Museum, and was careful to select native species that require a minimal amount of water to survive. 

In its first year of operation, 1.4 million people have visited the Museum of Tomorrow, far exceeding the anticipated 450,000 visits.

© Sérgio Huoliver 2015

Designed to be a place where science and technology meet art and culture, the Museum of Tomorrow has been recognized by leading cultural institutions worldwide. Its exhibitions have been awarded prizes by Canada’s International Design and Communication Awards, and its architectural design won Best New Museum of the Year - Central and South America in the Leading Culture Destinations Awards.

The Museum of Tomorrow, designed by architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, opened its doors in December 2015. Since then, it has become a symbol of the urban recovery of the Puerto Maravilha neighborhood by the Mauá Pier, providing the area with new infrastructure and transforming the neighborhood into one of the most attractive destinations in Rio de Janeiro.

The building design takes inspiration from the surrounding vegetation and from Brazilian culture. The Museum was made possible by the City of Rio de Janeiro and the Roberto Marinho Foundation, with sponsorship from Banco Santander Brasil and the BG project.  The project is supported by the Government of Brazil, through the Ministry of Environment and the Financier of Studies and Projects (FINEP).

In 2016 the Museum of Tomorrow signed collaboration agreements with major organizations such as Google, the British Council, DutchCulture, the Dom Cabral Foundation, the Engie Foundation, the Science Museum Group, the United Nations, UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), and more.

More information about the 2017 MIPIM Awards can be found here:

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