A $54m science museum has opened in Rio de Janeiro as Brazil prepares for next year's summer Olympics.

The huge structure that looks like an airplane wing is fast becoming a symbol of Rio's ambitious regeneration projects ahead of the 2016 games.

"The museum is centred around a philosophical concept. A concept that tomorrow is not ready. Tomorrow is not done. Tomorrow will be built for us," Luiz Olivera, curator of Museum of Tomorrow, told Al Jazeera.

The museum, designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, has been built in what used to be one of the city's poorest and most crime-ridden areas.

Left to deteriorate for about 70 years, the museum is at the centre of a major makeover of the area since 2010, and is the largest urban development project in the country.

Resident Jessiana Rangel has worked in the Port of Rio area for three years and has watched the transformation.

"I used to be scared walking in this area. No one used to come here. Now you can come anytime of day and you'll find lots of people."

The building utilises natural light to illuminate its 5,000sq metre exhibition space, and it's open layout allows air coming from Guanabara Bay to keep its interior cool, making the building environment-friendly and energy efficient.

Source: Al Jazeera