Sustainability and energy efficiency
The museum's newest building has a 1,645 m² integrated solar roof that provides clean energy for approximately 25% of the building's electrical energy needs, thereby reducing its CO2 emissions by 260,000 kg per year. With these facilities, the museum hopes not only to save energy, but to spread awareness on the use of renewable sources of energy and foster change in attitudes that will benefit the preservation of the planet.
With this aim in mind, the museum created scheduled daily guided tours to the solar roof, beginning November 2008. Accompanied by a museum associate, visitors of all ages will have an opportunity to see the facilities, the way it operates and its functions up-close.
Scientific Communication and
But Parque de las Ciencias is much more than a museum. Communicating information and training in the scientific field is another one of the museum's aims, organising in 1999 the 1 st Conference Communication of Science in Society. The flexibility and characteristics of its new infrastructure support this line of action and favour the organisation of international congresses, conferences, master's programmes and courses, making the museum a space open to research and scientific production.
The coordination of regional, national and international dissemination networks, the development of educational projects directed to primary and secondary schools and internship programmes designed to train university students all cap off the museum's work in the dissemination of scientific knowledge.
New spaces open to multiple uses have been created, as diverse and flexible as the world of today: A world of continuous learning, creativity, culture, new technology, intelligent entertainment, communication, network society, science and innovation. A gathering place for people of today: that's Parque de las Ciencias.
The Parque de las Ciencias opened its doors to the public in May 1995; it was Andalucia's first interactive museum. Now, 14 years later, the centre has become a model in Europe in scientific dissemination and communication. With 485,000 visitors in 2008 alone—and more than 4 million since its opening 14 years ago—the Parque de las Ciencias has consolidated itself as the most visited museum of Andalucia.
Public demand and growing social interest in science have prompted the construction of new facilities. These were recently opened to the public as one of the largest museum grounds in Spain, more than 70,000 m² in area. The new building is called Macroscopio, and not only does it represent half the museum's surface area, but it also offers five large exhibition pavilions that will display the latest scientific advances in health and life sciences, mechanical arts and preventative safety, among others.
Interactive museums are a growing phenomenon all around the world. They are vectors for cultural revitalisation; yet the extent to which they are agents for progress depends upon their scale, strength and influence. That is exactly what the Parque de las Ciencias aims to do with its new installations: to keep the centre vibrant, under continuous evolution. A new kind of museum.
The new exhibition pavilions are the following: Voyage through the Human Body, Culture of Prevention, Techno-Forum, Al Andalus and Science; as well as the Cultural Gallery with a 500-seat auditorium, mini-cinemas, library, audiovisual library, café Darwin, cybercafé, book shop, specialised shop, 1,000 m² of workshops and classrooms make this centre a geniune "meeting place".
The Parque de las Ciencias also offers more than 5,000m² in space for temporary exhibitions, outfitted with the best technical environmental control, space and lighting equipment. The temporary exhibitions also house “Windows on Science”. A new concept in “transparent spaces” that open out to current science. A direct way for visitors to get a glimpse of some current lines of research as well as real work in research and innovation. A piece of the laboratory right in the museum.