After years of agonizing delays, an opening date is finally drawing near for Frank Gehry’s iconic Biomuseo in Panama City—a project that has been in the works for over a decade.
Gehry’s first built work in Latin America, the vividly hued concrete and steel biodiversity museum sits dramatically along the Amador Causeway, former site of a U.S. Army base at the Pacific entry to the Canal. Focusing on Panama’s rich and diverse ecosystem, the 43,000-square-foot museum will function as an interpretive center and a catalyst for environmental stewardship. It is intended to serve as a “point of entry to discover Panama” as well, for both locals and the tourists it is hoped that the building will attract. “Down the line, the museum will have an economic impact,” says Pilar Arosemena de Alemán, the current president of Fundación Amador, the foundation behind the project. “And it will be a source of pride. It will show that we Panamanians can build—and can have a project—with world standards.”