Designed by Oscar Niemeyer with the assistance of structural engineer Bruno Contarini, who had worked with Niemeyer on earlier projects the Niterói, as it’s lovingly called, is 48-feet high; its cupola has a diameter of 150 feet and the building consists of three floors. The museum projects itself over Boa Viagem, which translates to “Bon Voyage,” “Good Journey”. It features a 8,790 square foot reflecting pool that surrounds the cylindrical base “like a flower,” in the words of Niemeyer.
A wide access slope leads to a Hall of Expositions, which has a capacity for sixty people. Two doors lead to the viewing gallery, through which visitors can see the entire city. The saucer-shaped modernist structure, which has been likened to a UFO, is set on a cliffside, at the bottom of which is a beach. The museum is filled with contemporary art from around the world and showcases various exhibitions of Brazilian and international artists from the most famous to the relatively unknown. For art and culture lovers, it’s a “must-do” and gives you an opportunity to break away from the beach for a moment.