New, Green Museum of Tomorrow in Rio Unveiled


Image Credit: Inhabitat

Rio has been going through a bit of a rough patch lately- it's been set on fire by a hot air balloon and hit hard by deadly torrential rains. But the city is far from beat: a key player in Brazil's plan to drastically reduce carbon emissions and the host of the 2016 Olympic Games, Rio has taken bold and exciting steps to go green.

It started a bike-sharing program two years ago. Last month, it announced it was building the Solar City Tower, a solar power gathering structure that doubles as a giant, artificial waterfall. And this week, Rio unveiled the Museum of Tomorrow: a sleek, low building with a cantilevered roof, located right on Rio's waterfront.The museum is the work of internationally renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, whose portfolio includes Calgary's now-in-construction pedestrian and bicycle bridge, a light rail bridge in Jerusalem, and the aborted, currently-just-a-hole-in-the-ground 150-story condo building in Chicago. Yet while his designs are without doubt very cool looking, it's worth wondering how sustainable they really are.

Design blog Inhabitat points out that as of yet, we have no specifics on what makes the Museum of Tomorrow so sustainable. Not to mention the fact that it's unclear exactly what the museum is for, or how it fits into Rio de Janeiro's efforts at urban revitalization. And after seeing the recent Olympic Games in Toronto and Beijing, it can be hard to tell how much of the cities' efforts to go sustainable is for real, and how much is just greenwashing.


Image Credit: Inhabitat

Calatrava, for one, is a believer:

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. Rio de Janeiro has captured my imagination
and through the expression of space and forms, I am excited to begin
this journey.

A beautiful building it certainly will be. And while we may just have to wait until 2016 to see how Rio's efforts at urban sustainability pan out, we're certainly hoping the Museum of Tomorrow lives up to our high hopes for the city's future.

Tags: Architecture | Brazil | Greenwashing | Urban Planning