February 21, 2024


It’s certainly been a busy week for the Studio Gang. Following the completion of the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts a few days ago, the firm has now also completed an expansion of the American Museum of Natural History, which features extraordinary sculpted rock shapes.

The Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation (now officially named) has added and renovated 230,000 square feet (approximately 21,300 square meters) of space to the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, New York City. The building’s extraordinary design stems from the way wind and water shape the landscape.

“The textures, colors, and flowing forms of the Griffin Atrium are inspired by the canyons of the American Southwest and animate the Gilder Center’s grand entrance, evoking awe, excitement, and discovery,” explains the museum’s press release. The eye-catching structure was created by spraying concrete directly onto steel reinforcement without the use of traditional formwork, a technique known as ‘shotcrete,’ was invented by naturalist and taxidermy artist Carl Akeley in the early 1900’s. Bridges and openings in the hand-finished shotcrete physically and visually connect visitors to multiple levels to accommodate the new exhibition gallery, designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates in conjunction with the museum’s exhibition department, educational spaces and collections facilities, to create a welcoming sightlines, encouraging people to enter and pass through the building. “

Visitors to the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation enter the impressive five-story atrium
Visitors to the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation enter the impressive five-story atrium

iwan bann

Visitors to the museum enter an impressive five-story atrium space topped by large skylights that flood the building with natural light. It offers three different levels of displays and exhibits, including an insectarium, a butterfly zoo, and a DNA digital exhibit. Bridges are installed at key points to provide views inside and out, and voids and windows provide glimpses into different areas of the museum.

Studio Gang Aims for LEED Gold Green Building Standards The project and its interiors are designed to maximize natural light and air circulation. The well-insulated structure, along with deeply recessed windows and shade trees, help it maintain a relatively constant temperature in both the cold and the heat. Additionally, its circular windows use “bird-safe” fritted glass, designed to help reduce bird casualties.

The Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation officially opened to the public on May 4.

source: studio hall