Design for the Museum of Tomorrow Unveiled in Brazil

Santiago Calatrava, world-renowned architect, engineer and artist, unveiled his design for Rio de Janeiro’s Museum of Tomorrow during a press conference yesterday in Brazil.

Calatrava was commissioned to design the sustainably-focused museum, as part of the ambitious “Marvelous Port” urban design project, which will transform Rio’s historical waterfront into a thriving cultural and residential community. Located on the highly prominent Pier Maua, the museum is an integral part of the urban revitalization commitment that the city made to the International Olympic Committee during its successful bid for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Seeking inspiration from the citizens of Rio and the surrounding historical landmarks, Calatrava’s design celebrates the natural landscape. The two-story museum features a cantilevered roof and facade with moving elements that extends almost to the full length of the pier, emphasizing the extension into the bay, while minimizing the building’s width. The building’s northern location maximizes a continuous landscaping strip along the Southern length of the pier, complementing views towards the historical Monastery de Sao Bento do Rio de Janeiro from both on and off the site.

“Brazil’s magical ambiance radiates through Rio de Janeiro’s rich past and cultural heritage, the vast forests, beautiful landscapes and most of all the spirit of the people,” said Santiago Calatrava, designer of the Museum of Tomorrow. “Rio de Janeiro has captured my imagination and through the expression of space and forms, I am excited to begin this journey.”

Calatrava, whose 2001 expansion of the Milwaukee Art Museum is internationally regarded as putting the Midwestern city on the map for arts and culture, was an obvious choice for the commission.

“Santiago Calatrava’s design unites the boldness of his other well-known works with the beauty of Guanabara Bay and the history surrounding the Pier Maua, as well as the whole region of Porto,” said Eduardo Pes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro. “The Museum of Tomorrow perfectly matches the genius of this amazing Spanish architect and the soul that is present in Rio’s harbor area. I’m sure that the museum will serve as a milestone in the revitalization of that area and the whole city.”

Calatrava is no stranger to urban revitalization. In Valencia, the architect transformed a vast wasteland into a thriving City of Arts and Science, while his recently opened Liege-Guillemins TGV Railway Station in Belgium has already become a prominent symbol of Liege’s renewal. In Dallas, Calatrava’s signature Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, which is currently under construction, is designed to pump life back into the Trinity River, enabling it to become a central gathering place.


For additional information on Santiago Calatrava and/or the Museum of Tomorrow, please contact Jacqueline Platt at Corbin-Hillman Communications at 646.233.0465 or [email protected]


Santiago Calatrava’s name has been most closely associated with his celebrated designs of bridges and transportation centers built throughout the world. Highlights of his work include designs for: The Milwaukee Art Museum in Wisconsin (2001), the Athens Olympic Sports Complex (2004), the Light Rail Train Bridge in Jerusalem (2007) the Quarto Ponte sul Canal Grande in Venice (2008) and the Liège-Guillemins TGV Railway Station in Belgium (2009). He is currently working on a variety of design and construction projects throughout the world including: The World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York; the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas; the expansion of the Denver International Airport; The Peace Bridge in Calgary; Citta dello Sport, Rectorate and Campus Master Plan for Roma II University in Tor Vergata, Italy and Yuan Zen University in Taiwan.

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