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  • Writer's pictureMark Vogel

Museum of Tomorrow: Rio de Janeiro’s Extraordinary Museu do Amanhã

Musuem of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Museu do Amanhã in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Museu do Amanhã in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Having visited countless museums worldwide, I thought I had seen it all. But my recent visit to the Museu do Amanhã, or the Museum of Tomorrow, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, quickly debunked this notion. From its incredible architecture to its inspiring exhibits, this stunning museum brought to life a riveting narrative that felt more like a mesmerizing, interactive science-fiction novel than a conventional museum visit.





“It isn't a museum of concrete objects or historical artifacts but a museum of ideas - of possibilities. It revolves around the concept of tomorrow - how our actions today, both individually and collectively, shape our future.”

When I first caught sight of the Museu do Amanhã, I was struck by its strikingly unusual form. Standing on the Praça Mauá, a public square at the heart of the city, the museum cuts a dramatic figure against the sky, seeming to jut out into Guanabara Bay like a spaceship about to launch. The extraordinary architecture was the brainchild of the renowned Spanish neo-futuristic architect Santiago Calatrava. Known for his unique style that beautifully amalgamates form, function, and aesthetics, Calatrava took inspiration from the bromeliads in Rio's Botanical Gardens, fashioning the museum's architecture to resemble this unique flora.


Calatrava's creation is not just a work of art from the outside. As I walked into the museum, the internal architecture continued to astound. The intricate play of light and shadow, the wide, sweeping spaces, and the undulating ribbed roof structure give the building an almost organic feel, as though it's a living, breathing entity.


The Museu do Amanhã, inaugurated in December 2015, is an initiative of the Rio de Janeiro City Government and the Roberto Marinho Foundation. It isn't a museum of concrete objects or historical artifacts but a museum of ideas - of possibilities. It revolves around the concept of tomorrow - how our actions today, both individually and collectively, shape our future.


As I meandered through the exhibits, I was taken on a journey across time and space. From the cosmos' origins to the future of mankind, the narrative unfolded in a series of riveting exhibits spread over five major sections: Cosmos, Earth, Anthropocene, Tomorrow, and Us.


In the Cosmos section, I found myself engrossed in the dynamic imagery portraying the birth of the universe and Earth's formation. Earth, by contrast, focused on life's evolution on our planet, with impressive interactive displays showing how life has shaped Earth and vice versa.


Anthropocene, the section dealing with human influence on the planet, was a wake-up call. It reminded me of the profound and often devastating impacts of our actions on the environment, urging each visitor to reconsider their everyday choices.


Next, the Tomorrow section invited me to explore various possibilities for our planet's future, showcasing different scenarios depending on humanity's actions. The projections were both sobering and hopeful, an urgent call to action.


The final section, Us, was the most introspective. It implored visitors to consider their individual and collective roles in shaping the future, using interactive installations to stir profound reflections about ethical and moral decisions.


As I left the Museu do Amanhã, I found myself imbued with a renewed sense of responsibility towards our planet and an appreciation for the interconnectedness of all life. The Museum of Tomorrow is more than a repository of knowledge; it's a powerful reminder that our actions today determine our shared tomorrow.


This extraordinary museum, with its impressive architecture and thought-provoking exhibits, is a beacon of enlightenment in our times. It's not merely a building that juts out into the bay but a monument that reaches out to the future, inspiring us to act wisely today for a better tomorrow. My visit to the Museu do Amanhã was, indeed, a journey into tomorrow, one that I'll cherish forever.


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