WAN Awards 2018

SATURDAY 26 MAY 2018

SEARCH   
 
WAN Jobs
News Review
Podcasts
WAN Urban Challenge
WAN Awards
Previous Next
 

American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York, United States

Monday 16 Nov 2015
 

Connecting with Nature

 
American Museum of Natural History by Studio Gang Architects in New York, New York, United States
Studio Gang 
 
American Museum of Natural History by Studio Gang Architects in New York, New York, United States American Museum of Natural History by Studio Gang Architects in New York, New York, United States American Museum of Natural History by Studio Gang Architects in New York, New York, United States American Museum of Natural History by Studio Gang Architects in New York, New York, United States American Museum of Natural History by Studio Gang Architects in New York, New York, United States American Museum of Natural History by Studio Gang Architects in New York, New York, United States
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 1

Add comments | More comments

17/11/15 Leo, NYC
I'm going to leave the issue of the park alone (since the original building master plan was for the full block, it seems a little crazy to obsess over a few trees that were planted as filler - plus there is still lots of park untouched on the north side of the block, and beyond that all of Central Park).

I'm also going to resist talking about the arbitrary Flintstones-esque interior.

My issue is with the total lack of response of the exterior architecture to the rest of the museum or the neighborhood. OK, the building is supposed be shiny and new to draw young people to science. But does that require a super-sized imploded jiffy-pop bag? Is it that hard to incorporate materials and forms that reflect the rest of the campus? Must it be a space alien?

Look at the plan of the building and notice the four squares, the clear central entries (on this side actually the termination of 79th street). Maybe that should suggest a strong symmetrical facade, not a lopsided recessive apology? The architect has done some swell new buildings, but an addition may be beyond her comfort level. Great brand, but wrong skill set. Wake up MNH Board!
Click for more ...
 

The American Museum of Natural History in New York unveils a Jeanne Gang-design for new Science Center 

With the unveiling last week of Studio Gang’s design for the new Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, USA, the public got its first look at the potentially controversial project.  At issue is whether the museum’s expansion project, which encroaches into neighbouring Theodore Roosevelt Park, will negatively impact the quality of life of its Upper West Side residents by reducing precious park space and creating traffic problems. Such concerns are typically viewed as part and parcel of city living. But lately the city has sided with residents in battles that have pinned them against powerful cultural institutions.  The Frick Collection and the Museum of Modern Art are the latest museums in New York to have their expansion wings clipped by community opposition.  Gang’s design for the Gilder Center takes a proactive approach to the potentially controversial project by offering up for public consideration a contemporary expansion project that has a lot of upsides and treats the existing museum complex and grounds with intelligence and sensitivity.

Gang’s design for the Gilder Center is a fanciful confection straight out of the imagination - part Guggenheim Museum part Jurassic Park.  Inspired by glaciers and rock outcroppings that occur in nature, the design features a curvy glass and stone exterior and a “cavelike” interior with concrete walls that form voids and niches that invite exploration and create spaces for exhibition. The Center’s main space and indeed its star attraction is the Central Exhibition Hall. More than a gallery, it reimagines the museum not only as a fun place to visit with lots of exciting second-to-none attractions. It forges meaningful connections between the museum’s collections, scientific education and research. In addition to the main gallery, the Center will have a Collections Core, a vertical feature spanning several floors; an immersive, Invisible Worlds Theatre; library; and insect hall. These spaces will be joined by laboratories and classrooms that will offer programs that will connect STEM education to real world scientific research and discoveries. To tie the center to the existing museum complex, Gang has provided 30 connective bridges that will link it to 10 Museum buildings. This strategy creates opportunities to connect the museum's materials in new and interesting ways while correcting also it’s vexing and well-known circulation problems and eliminating its many dead end corridors.  

“We uncovered a way to vastly improve visitor circulation and Museum functionality while tapping into the design for exploration and discovery that are emblematic of science and also a part of being human,” said Gang. “Jeanne Gang’s thrilling design facilitates a new kind of fluid, cross disciplinary journey through the natural world while respecting the museum’s setting,” said Museum President Ellen V. Futter.  

To make way for the $325m expansion project and to minimize its impact on the neighbouring park, three existing buildings within the museum complex will be demolished. If approved construction of the Gilder Center could start as early as 2017.  The goal is to open the facility in 2020 at the conclusion of the Museum’s 250th Anniversary.

Sharon McHugh

US Correspondent

Key Facts

Client American Museum of Natural History
Status On Going
Value $325m (m€)
Studio Gang Architects
www.studiogang.net

More projects by this architect

Writers Theatre

Beloit College

Miami Design District Tower

Beloit College

UChicago Residence Hall & Dining Commons

More Projects

 
Reinventing Cities
ECOWAN
 

Click here to view the NEWS IN PICTURES tablet site