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Phillip & Patricia Frost Museum of Science-Miami

This state-of-the-art museum, formerly known as the Miami Science Museum, is located in in Miami, Florida, US. It occupies a four-acre site on Biscayne Bay within the 28-acre Museum Park. It was in February 2012 when Grimshaw Architects broke ground on the expansion of the waterfront museum complex. In early May 2017, tens of thousands of Miamians attended the grand opening of the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami, Florida.

There were approximately 400 jobs created during the construction phase, and 914 jobs were created after the Phillip & Patricia Frost Museum of Science opened. It has been announced that the Patricia and Philip Frost Museum has won the Commercial, Sports, Entertainment, and Hospitality category of the 2017 project achievement award presented by the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA).

Five levels are included in this partly open-air museum complex. It is composed of four separate structures, including a spherical planetarium dome, two rectangular bar-shaped buildings, and a vessel-shaped ‘living core’. There are balconies and breezeways connecting the buildings, which provide views of Biscayne Bay and the Port of Miami. As for the East Bar and West Bar buildings, they house the exhibition space, the learning center, and the cafes. The common vegetated rooftop is home to the Wildlife Centre, which includes hanging gardens and animals.

A dedicated space of 250,000ft2 is dedicated to health and food, technology and communications, fundamental physics, and living species at the Phillip & Patricia Frost Museum of Science. The three-building science compound, which took five years to complete and cost $305 million, boasts various attractions, such as a 500,000-gallon aquarium, where guests can watch hammerhead and tiger sharks, Mahi Mahi, devil rays, and more. An observatory, a learning center, a traveling gallery, a 3D multimedia digital planetarium, a 3D multimedia digital planetarium, a vegetated roof, and an outdoor playground are also included.

Additionally, the museum hosts displays and interactive exhibits that guests can enjoy, including the MeLa room, where guests can conduct their own experiments to test and study their health. Every first Friday of the month, the museum will also feature laser light shows. Here, guests can unwind to the sounds of Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and more, all while watching a multitude of colorful lasers choreographed to the music inside of the museum’s 67-foot dome planetarium. The museum receives more than 600,000 visitors each year.

The centerpiece of the museum is the ‘living core’ that houses a microcosm of South Florida’s flora and fauna. It consists of exhibits such as an aviary with diving birds, a living Indo-Pacific coral reef tank, an Atlantic reef fish tank, a mangrove nursery, a ray touch pool, and a Gulf Stream Aquarium. The Gulf Stream Aquarium is an elliptical tank with a 100ft diameter and an open top. It holds roughly 500,000gal of natural seawater and houses aquatic species such as stingrays, tuna, sea turtles, and sharks. Its controlled environment simulates the flow of water in the Gulf of Mexico.

On the other hand, the aquarium is suspended from the fourth level and is visible from all levels of the museum. A rooftop observation deck allows visitors to look down into the tank. A 30-foot-wide oculus emerging from the ceiling on the lower level of the museum provides an underwater view of the aquarium and a glimpse of the open sky through the water. Visitors in the interior galleries can view the aquarium through multiple portholes.

While, the planetarium dome holds approximately 250 stadium-style seats and features a surround sound system, along with an ultra-high-resolution full-dome video projection system with 16 million color lasers. The dome screen tilts 23.5% to correspond with the tilt of the Earth. It is externally illuminated, making it visible during the night. Each of these bar-shaped buildings is made up of precast concrete panels that weigh 25 tons and measure approximately 32 feet tall, 12 feet wide, and 10.5 inches thick. While the panels are made up of 4ft square tiles or pixels that are concave, convex, flat, or have a hole built out for a window. The pixels form a random pattern on the building exterior.

The building’s green roof displays a rainwater-reclamation system that irrigates its edible gardens, indigenous plants, and green walls. The complex is equipped with solar photovoltaic panels that generate electricity on-site. Additionally, there are two electric vehicle charging stations and twelve parking spaces reserved for carpools and vanpools. Several bus lines and a Metromover station are nearby the museums for public transportation. A naturally ventilated parking area is available under the plaza to prevent heat islands that are typically caused by parking lots that are exposed to direct sunlight.

Moreover, the Phillip & Patricia Frost Museum of Science features a climate-responsive design with optimized glazing and shading. Ventilation is provided through natural open-air circulation and low-energy air-conditioning systems. A manmade wetland is built next to the building for control of stormwater runoff. The project is registered for LEED Gold Certification.

As for its constructions, Rodriguez and Quiroga Architects were the executive architects for the Phillip & Patricia Frost Museum of Science project, while Thinc Design served as the exhibition designer. Arup was selected as the structural engineer and also provided the lighting design and acoustics. ADA Engineering extended its civil engineering services for the museum while Syska Hennessy Group was the HVAC engineer. Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering services were supplied by Fraga Engineers and Coral Gables. While Teecom extended telecom, Wi-Fi, network design, and auditorium audiovisual technical services for the project. In addition, ArquitectonicaGEO was hired as the landscape architect for the green roof. Atelier Ten was the environmental design consultant.

Lord Cultural Resources played an essential role in the design, concept development, and management of the museum. Hill International signed a $3m three-year contract in November 2013 to provide project management services during the construction of Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science. While Skanska USA was the one responsible for the construction management. CW Keller created the concrete formwork for the Gulf Stream Aquarium tank, while Baker Concrete Construction provided the concrete for all the building structures.

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