RICHARD GILDER CENTER BY STUDIO GANG
Location: New York, NY
Status: Under Construction
At a time of urgent need for better public understanding of science and greater access to science education, the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation (the latest addition to New York’s historic American Museum of Natural History) will offer new ways to learn about our world and share in the excitement of scientific discovery.
The design for the Gilder Center by Studio Gang reclaims the physical heart of the museum and completes connections between existing galleries that were originally envisioned in the museum’s campus master plan. Visitor circulation is enhanced to better accommodate the museum’s rising annual attendance, which over the past several decades has grown from approximately 3 to 5 million.
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.
Creating approximately thirty connections among ten different buildings, the Gilder Center will include the five-story Collections Core, housing millions of specimens and artifacts from the Museum’s collection; the Insectarium, the first Museum gallery specifically dedicated to insects in more than 50 years; the Butterfly Vivarium, a year-round exhibit that doubles the space of the existing seasonal butterfly conservatory; and the Invisible Worlds Immersive Theater, showcasing cutting-edge scientific technologies.
The building’s caverns, bridges, and arching walls will be formed using an industrial application of concrete that showcases its liquid properties. This technique, primarily used for infrastructure, creates a continuous interior without material seams or joints that becomes structural as it cures. The interior of this exciting space will demonstrate the structural principles subject to gravity without the traditional waste of formwork.