The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science

When it's completed next summer, the Patricia and Phillip Frost museum of Science in Miami will feature the world's latest planetarium.

No one driving on busy Biscayne Street or the general Causeway may probably miss it—it looks as if Darth Vader landed his Death Star in Miami. The stark white, 78-foot-tall concrete orb is the planetarium at Phillip Frost Museum of Science, $300 million destination set to open within the city’s waterfront museum next summertime. By the time it opens, the museum will be the latest planetarium on earth, according to Dr. Jorge Perez-Gallego, astrophysicist at the museum. It’s an awesome structure, but not the museum’s engineering wonder.

Formed by Grimshaw Architects, the building has 4 parts that ties via terraces and open-air walkways —the planetarium, an Innovation Center which will house inventors-in-residence, the exhibition galleries, and the Living Core.

The heart of the Living Core are the three-story aquarium, formed just like the cone of a cocktail glass and filled with water from the adjacent Biscayne bay. Last December, construction led by Hill International and Skanska USA worked for pretty much twenty five hours pouring in 120 truckloads of concrete on the aquarium’s walls.

Now the aquarium meets its next challenge. The tip of the cone is condensed in a glass oculus, which will allow guests below to look up and see hammerhead sharks and tuna swimming overhead. However that disc, that is being custom-made in Rome, can't be fitted in till just before the aquarium is filled, as a result of the burden of the 500,000 gallons hold the glass in place.

All images credit: Patricia and Phillip frost Museum of Science


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