2016

MCHAP

Blomuseo

Gehry Partners

Panama City, Panama

September 2014

PRIMARY AUTHOR

Gehry Partners

CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR

ENSITU (Executive Architect) Bruce Mau Design (Exhibition Design) Edwina Von Gal (Landscape Designer) Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Inc. (Structural Engineer) Donn C. Gilmore and Associates (Mechanical Engineer) Rosenberg Associates (Mechanical Consultant) Lightswitch Architectural (Lighting Consultant) T.A. Maranda Consultants, Inc. (Aquarium Life Support) Cerami and Associates (Acoustical Consultant)

AUTHOR

Museo de la Biodiversidad en Panama

PHOTOGRAPHER

OBJECTIVE

The exhibition design, conceived collaboratively with Bruce Mau Design, is intended to educate visitors about the unique environments of Panama and its conservation efforts. Included in the various galleries are stories that will introduce visitors to the concept of biodiversity, immerse them in all of the environments of Panama, and describe its geological and natural history. The exhibits will also convey how these natural forces have affected man, and the importance of the interconnectivity of life to the survival of all plant and animal species. The eight-gallery museum is integrated within the surrounding botanical garden, which is also publicly accessible for local residents, creating an immersive ecological experience.

CONTEXT

The Biomuseo is dedicated to explaining the geological and ecological story of Panama as a means to conserve and protect the country’s rich natural resources and ecological history. Located in Amador, a region outside of Panama City that once served as the base for the US Armed Forces, the project is situated at the tip of a peninsula that overlooks Panama City and the Bay of Panama to the north, and the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal to the south. The challenge was to integrate the landscape of this 2.4 hectare site with a museum building in a way that would both celebrate the biodiversity of the region as well as activate further conservation amongst future generations.

PERFORMANCE

The museum park, designed in collaboration with landscape architect Edwina Von Gal, expands the narrative described from the interior exhibits into the surrounding landscape. Located intermittently around the park are education stations that augment the visitor’s experience of the museum through illustrating real life interaction between local plant and animal species. Because of the civic nature of the museum’s exterior atrium, the park is designed as a publicly accessible space and place of respite for local visitors.