Architecture – Studio Gang has completed the 230,000-square-foot Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation, which opened to the public in New York City. As part of the American Museum of Natural History‘s campus, the six-storey venue is set to stun visitors with an immersive architecture inspired by canyons in the southwestern US to discover Mother Nature’s wonders.
- RELATED STORIES: Discover more architecture and design in New York.
“The Gilder Center is designed to invite exploration and discovery that is not only emblematic of science but also such a big part of being human,” said Jeanne Gang, founding principal and partner of Studio Gang.
Tucked away from the street, the building’s organic-shaped facade is made with a mega-panel system in Milford pink granite that tunes with the geometry and rhythm of the adjacent Romanesque buildings.
As they walk in, visitors are welcomed by a stunning cave-like grand space illuminated with natural light admitted through large-scale skylights. The building’s design is informed by how wind and water carve out exciting landscapes, as well as the forms that hot water etches in blocks of ice.
“Stepping inside the large daylit atrium, you are offered glimpses of the different exhibits on multiple levels. You can let your curiosity lead you. And the many new connections the architecture creates between buildings also improves your ability to navigate the Museum’s campus as a whole.”
In order to obtain an organic, natural feel with non-repetitive shapes, Studio Gang tapped engineering firm Arup to design the space, which was created by pouring concrete foundations and spraying wet concrete.
Among the must-visit exhibits is the Susan and Peter J. Solomon Family Insectarium, which features large-scale models and live insects on the first floor. At the Davis Family Butterfly Vivarium, a permanent exhibit on the second floor, visitors can mingle with up to 1,000 free-flying butterflies in a lush, temperature-controlled habitat.
On the third floor, Invisible Worlds is an immersive and interactive 360-degree experience presented in an oval room with 23-foot-high walls and a mirrored ceiling surrounding visitors with projections of phenomena from the natural world at all scales. The Reading Room on the fourth floor has a massive concrete support system that looks like a mushroom, while the topmost two floors of the structure are dedicated to research and collections, housing specialized laboratories.
All photos of the Gilder Center for the American Museum of Natural History by Iwan Baan and Alvaro Keding/©AMNH – Courtesy of the Gilder Center.