The Biomuseo’s permanent exhibition is titled Panama: Bridge of Life. Eight galleries and eight "devices of wonder" tell of the origin of the Panamanian isthmus and its gigantic impact on the planet’s biodiversity. These galleries were conceived by Canadian designer Bruce Mau, founder of the Institute Without Boundaries.
Gallery of Biodiversity
There is an incredible abundance and variety of life on Earth. Visitors are greeted with a huge, multicolored stained glass mural that's 14 meters long and eight meters high, representing the explosion of life in Panama.
This gallery celebrates the fact that we live surrounded by a vast amount of living beings and communities. A three-story projection space with 10 screens immerses visitors in an audiovisual rendering of the natural marvels that compose all of Panama’s ecosystems.
Building the Bridge
Panama is a living bridge that emerged from the sea three million years ago. The tectonic forces inside the Earth that formed the isthmus are represented by three rock formations, 14 feet high, in a space full of tactile and physical encounters with the geological world.
The closure of the Isthmus of Panama generated a great exchange of species between North and South America, two land masses that had been separated for 70 million years. The visitor is received by two stampedes of animals representing the megafauna that began this unique journey almost three million years ago.
The Human Path
Human beings are an integral part of nature. In a partially open-air space, 16 columns provide information on the relations between human activity and nature in Panama 15,000 years ago—the estimated date when the first settlers arrived to the isthmus—to the present.
When Panama emerged, two very different oceans were formed, changing life all over the planet. Two 10-meter-high, semi-cylindrical aquariums show how the Pacific and the Caribbean evolved in drastically different ways after being separated by the creation of the isthmus.
The Living Web
To demonstrate how living things need and compete with each other in complex and often invisible ways, a huge sculpture—equal parts plant, animal, insect and microorganism—immerses the visitor in a dimension where all living things are just as important.
Panama Is the Museum
The biggest wonders await the visitor outside the museum. Panels and displays show the relations between Panama's biodiversity and the world, and offer access to a virtual network linking the museum with the rest of the country.
The Biopark is a living extension of the museum’s architecture, exhibits and programs. It's an oasis with diverse experiences such as shade and refuge, a safe place to observe nature, a place to learn and a place to celebrate.
A selection of endemic and native plants continue to tell the stories that began on the central exhibition’s route. Each plant is chosen for its natural beauty, its adaptability to the site and the story it tells us, whether it's about Panama's biodiversity, its food, housing, symbiotic relations, fruits or flowers.
The Language of the Park
Eight stations throughout the park present eight central concepts. The location of each station corresponds to its message, while also providing a shady place to relax, observe and learn.
The Biopark is midway between nature and artifice. Simple and powerful combinations of textures and colors highlight the inherent beauty of Panamanian species and these, in turn, provide home for wildlife.