Puente de Vida: The Bridge of Life Museum in Panama
Ever wonder how the Caribbean and Pacific separated? Or how certain species ended up in North America while others popped up south of the Equator? Well, the Bridge of Life Museum in Panama will soon have these answers and more. Actually, it will go beyond mere facts by throwing visitors into an interactive experience, where the natural world comes to life under the colorful, jagged and twisting rooftops of a space designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry.
Technically speaking, it’s not exactly a bridge, but it is a new approach to the idea of a museum.
Glass hallways, botanical gardens and a two story aquarium will place visitors in constant contact with the natural world. Innovative exhibits will provide a heightened understanding of environmental wonders, such as, the formation of the Isthmus of Panama, the interchange between man and other western species, and the ongoing global effects on Central America.
Now, you may be asking, Why Panama? Well, few communities can boast the unique biodiversity of this region. Life on the isthmus features extreme climates, many different environments, and an abundance of water. This combination produces unparalleled intensity at every scale on the chain of life.
Scheduled to open in 2009, The Bridge of Life will sit in the Amador area of Panama City, at the tip of a causeway on the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. It is funded by the Amador Foundation in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institute, Gehry Partner, Bruce Mau Designs, and Edwina von Gal Landscaping.
For anyone who has stood in awe of Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, or who wants to experience the newest wave in ecological education, The Bridge of Life is a must-see.