Rio de Janeiro’s public officials have been plotting Copacabana’s comeback for quite sometime, and with the recent announcement the new Museum of Image and Sound the area’s transformation has reached the tipping point. What was once the world’s most famous beach has declined into an area known more for sex-tourism in recent years, largely due to the infamous beachfront discotheque called Help.

See more of the new museum
But with the new museum, recently awarded to New York-based “starchitects” Diller, Scofidio and Renfro in a government-sponsored competition, the seedy scene’s epicenter will be demolished to make way for the US$65 million project, which takes inspiration from the neighbourhood’s stylized sidewalks designed by Roberto Burle Marx.
Conceived as an extension of the iconic promenade, the “Vertical Boulevard” will put visitors on a path that winds back and forth through six stories of entertainment spaces and exhibits on the rich history of Brazilian music and film, with a beautiful vista of the Atlantic Ocean at every turn. And the view is even better from the rooftop, where a 300-person outdoor cinema is planned, overlooking Copacabana Beach below. Construction will begin on the museum in early 2010.