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The Frost Museum's circulation channels are placed on the exterior of the complex to boost environmental performance (Courtesy Rafael Gamo)

In June, Miami’s Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science celebrated its one year anniversary. The four-building complex was designed by London-based firm Grimshaw Architects, and led by Global Managing Partner Vincent Chang.

Grimshaw Architects describes the design of the 250,000 square-foot complex as possessing an “open-armed stance,” with four unique buildings centered around an wide open-air atrium. Walkways and stairwells placed within this central courtyard facilitate movement both vertically and horizontally.

The four buildings are clad in a wide variety of soft white materials cast in geometrical patterns, including stacked and punctured cubes, and tiled panels. The use of sweeping curves and facade-length balconies also serves as a visual homage to Miami’s rich Modernist architectural heritage.

As a museum dedicated to natural science and the study of nearby marine habitats, sustainability is a key component to the complex’s design. Building upon the full-height atrium, the design boasts a series of light shafts, ventilation corridors and rows of brise-soleil to boost natural lighting and cooling throughout the complex. Located atop the complex are a series of rainwater cisterns and solar farms. Currently, the Frost Museum is seeking LEED Gold Certification.

 

The aquarium building serves as the central point of the museum, and is designed as an immersive experience providing multiple vantage points into the approximately 500,000-gallon aquarium. Reaching a height of three stories, the aquarium is bottomed out by a viewing window measuring 31-feet in diameter, providing an upwards vista of the sprawling tank.

The Frost Museum of Science is located within Miami’s Museum Park, which is also home to the Perez Art Museum Miami, the Miami Science Barge, and the Fragata.