Last week, construction broke ground on the new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in Bicentennial Park in Miami. Apart from the green gizmos the 250,000 square-foot-building will sport, including and not limited to rain/energy collectors and a data center that will monitor the structure’s energy performance, the most striking aspect of the design, by Grimshaw Architects, is its 600,000 gallon aquarium, under which – if the renderings are to be believed–visitors will frolic in evening wear, sipping cocktails beneath the auspices of feeding sharks. Yes, sharks.
The aquarium will act as the museum’s central locus of activity. Families, tourists, and school groups will gather for the climax of the building tour on the mezzanine at the surface of the pool, where they will look onto the host of circling predators. The $275-million building, which is expected to be completed by early 2015, will also feature a full-dome 3-D planetarium and several exhibition wings, plus additional learning centers, cafes, gardens, fountains, and perhaps most importantly – this is Miami after all – swimming pools. The museum is expected to help fill the city’s technology void, which will need to be filled if Miami is to attract and keep talent. The beaches can’t do it all.