Miami's new science museum planned as a natural wonder in itself

The Miami Science Museum has unveiled an ultramodern conceptual design for its planned new downtown home that wraps a series of layered outdoor terraces around a big Gulf Stream aquarium and a striking new planetarium orb overlooking Biscayne Boulevard.

Capping the three-level structure: a clear, teardrop-shaped canopy that would allow natural light to flow into the building and through the main aquarium tank, and permit residents of the condo towers across Biscayne to look into the museum.

Crammed with digital technology, the $275 million project, scheduled to start construction late next year, is designed to function as an organic demonstration of green-building principles and South Florida's climate and ecology. Visitors would follow a spiral ramp leading indoors, then outside, then back inside, while traveling from the stars of the Cosmos down through the Florida wetlands to the bottom of the Gulf Stream.

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