By Ciara Long, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – This past weekend, Rio’s Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow) saw more than five thousand people take advantage of the commemoration of its first year, which included free entry on Sunday, December 18th.
The city’s residents passed through the museum with free entry and also enjoyed the food fair outside in the renovated Praça Mauá, where there were more than seventy food stalls.
The open festival also included talks from specialists on the Port Zone’s culture, a passinho show and a roda de samba. Carnival blocos Prata Preta and Escravos da Mauá also performed during the afternoon.
Intended to be a place where science mets culture, technology and art, the museum has gained international recognition. Several of its exhibitions were awarded prizes by Canada’s International Design and Communication Award, while the museum’s architecture earned the ‘Best New Museum’ award from Leading Culture Destinations Awards.
American-Brazilian Evan Farr, owner of the Jinga Experience tourism company explained “The Museo do Amanhã is the centerpiece of the Porto Maravilha and Praça Mauá. Santiago Calatrava’s futuristic and organic design has given a new contemporary identity to a historic part of Centro.”
“The museum has motivated Cariocas and tourists alike to visit the downtown to see it,” Farr adds. “Everyone who I have taken to [it] is genuinely inspired by the it, specially when shown the ‘before and after’ photos of the area. They find it to be impressive in size and its backdrop, and very pleased that sustainable architecture was used in the design.”
An iconic structure in the city’s port region, the Museu do Amanhã has attracted approximately 1.4 million visitors since it opened its doors in January 2016. Originally due to open in 2014, the Museum has faced criticism for delays but has nonetheless had great success since opening a year ago.
The museum is perhaps the most iconic installation in the renovation of the Porto Maravilha. Other redevelopment efforts have transformed the five million square meter area into a safe, recreational public space, including the 2013 opening of the Museu de Arte do Rio (Art Museum of Rio).