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Frost Museum 'the glue' for Miami waterfront, says CEO

Gillian Thomas, CEO of the under-development US$307m (€283.5m, £214.1m) Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, has said that the museum will act as a central hub for the Miami waterfront, drawing in visitors with its range of attractions on offer.

Structured around a ‘living core’ which comprises terrestrial and aquatic exhibits, the Museum of Science features a 510,000 gallon aquarium, planetarium, health and science gallery, hands-on exhibits and interactive digital technology. Touted as the “next generation” of science museum, the attraction incorporates advanced communications and energy-conservation technology, as well as a host of visitor-friendly features.

“The science museum will be the glue for this destination because of its wonderful waterfront,” said Thomas speaking to CLAD. “You need enough people to come together to have an impact. We’ll achieve that with our broad audience.”

The new three-storey, 250,000sq ft (32,225sq m) facility – currently under construction – sits in its prominent location on the Miami waterfront alongside the city’s 40-acres Museum Park and Perez Art Museum Miami. An architectural team led by London-based Grimshaw Architects worked on the design of the new museum, while Skanska USA is operating as construction manager and Hill International is overseeing the whole project, which according to Thomas will continue behind-the-scenes upon completion of development.

Not everything will be there on day one,”she said. “We see the museum as a kind of canvas, and some elements will come along later.”

“For example, we are currently working with the New World Symphony to develop something where people can listen to the music while seeing what is happening inside your brain projected on the walls. That’s just one example of the weird and wonderful things we're trying to develop.

“We see the opening as the start in an ongoing science and technology programme, which will include future innovations like these.”

The bid to build the museum has hit some turbulence, with the museum’s namesakes – Patricia and Phillip Frost – stepping in to fill a US$45m (€41.5m, £31.3m) funding shortfall last month created by higher-than-expected construction costs and a failure to finance donor pledges. Thanks to the move though, the museum can proceed with its ‘Plan A’, which is expected to be completed in time for a 2016 opening, with diversity at the top of the agenda.

“Miami has a very special and diverse population which we will cater to with a variety of offerings,” said Thomas. “We’ll have a wide range of science technology, aviation, space and innovation exhibits. The museum will reach a broad audience, which is all ages, with wide ethnic and educational diversity.”

Frost Museum  Miami  Grimshaw Architects  Science Centre  Museum  Aquarium  Terrarium 
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Gillian Thomas, CEO of the under-development US$307m (€283.5m, £214.1m) Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, has said that the museum will act as a central hub for the Miami waterfront, drawing in visitors with its range of attractions on offer. Structured around a ‘living core’ which comprises terrestrial and aquatic exhibits, the Museum of Science features a 510,000 gallon aquarium, planetarium, health and science gallery, hands-on exhibits and interactive
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Structured around a ‘living core’ which comprises terrestrial and aquatic exhibits, the Museum of Science features a 510,000 gallon aquarium, planetarium, health and science gallery, hands-on exhibits and interactive digital technology
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