October 2, 2014

POSTED BY

Betty Garcia

CATEGORY

A Bundle of Color: Frank Gehry’s 1st Project in Latin America

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The long awaited Latin American project from starchitect Frank Gehry, The Biomuseo (Museum of Biodiversity) in Panama, will finally have its grand opening today. Due to funding issues, the opening was delayed several times since construction began in 2005. The project was sponsored by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), the …

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The long awaited Latin American project from starchitect Frank GehryThe Biomuseo (Museum of Biodiversity) in Panama, will finally have its grand opening today. Due to funding issues, the opening was delayed several times since construction began in 2005. The project was sponsored by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), the government of Panama and the Amador Foundation, a non-profit organization established to raise awareness of the country’s natural and cultural history. It was developed in and around the isthmus and discusses the impact on the world’s biodiversity.

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Model

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The brightly colored Biomuseo, the first project of Frank Gehry in Latin America, will undoubtedly draw comparisons to Gehry’s outstanding design of the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum (image below). However, I think the two are radically different in shape and color. At first glance, the Biomuseo looks like a big playground with its overlapping shapes and use of the tropical colors that are often associated with Latin American culture. The colorful exterior is a stark contrast from the silver-colored, metallic facade of the Bilbao Museum.

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Perhaps the choice of the warmer colors was a way to make the structure more cheerful and accessible. In a recent interview, Frank Gehry stated that “This has been a very personal project for me. I feel close ties to the people of Panama”. Did his closeness to the country (Gehry’s wife is from Panama) inspire him to use these bold colors? Was he inspired by the tropical surroundings? Even though we will not be able to answer these questions, seeing the Biomuseo in person will allow us to develop our own opinions. I think the more you look at it, the more inviting and grandiose it becomes. What do you think?

Pictures from the museum’s interior:

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new york sports branding graphic design agency

new york sports branding graphic design agency

Via Design Boom and Forbes Magazine

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