American Museum of Natural History
Gilder Center for Science, Education & Innovation
New York, NY
203,000 sf • Executive Architect with Studio Gang
The American Museum of Natural History is devoted to scientific research and education about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe. The Museum’s original, historic 1877 facility was expanded with several major additions over the course of subsequent decades. As a result of multiple additions by multiple architects, circulation and wayfinding within the Museum has been an ongoing concern. Steadily growing attendance at the Museum over the past several decades has only exacerbated this issue. While grappling with circulation concerns, the Museum identified the need to address and improve its STEM education programs to support the ever-increasing importance of science to humanity. The Museum chose to expand their landmark historic facilities with the addition of the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation. In 2015, the Museum retained the services of Davis Brody Bond to serve as Executive Architect working with design architect Studio Gang on the addition and renovation project
The new Gilder Center will be located on the western edge of the Museum, as envisioned in the Museum’s original master plan, as a cross axis connecting galleries. The Center is being designed to achieve LEED Gold certification and incorporates such sustainable strategies as efficient landscaping, lighting designs, and water conservation initiatives. Informed by processes found in nature, the Central Exhibition Hall, which will serve as the Museum’s new Columbus Avenue entrance, will form a continuous, flowing spatial experience along an east-west axis. The design will encourage visitors to move beneath and across connective bridges and along sculpted walls with openings that reveal the Museum’s many programs.
The 203,000 sf, five-story Gilder Center will provide space for galleries, classrooms, collections, and library resources. In addition to serving as the Executive Architect for the Gilder Center, the Museum asked Davis Brody Bond to design the renovation of the Hall of Gems and Minerals (with Ralph Appelbaum Associates) which will directly connect to the Gilder Center on the ground floor.