New York Times — “American Museum of Natural History Releases Design of Gilder Center”

November 5, 2015

“The American Museum of Natural History recently came out with some good news—a museum expansion that for once seems as if it could work.

A year ago, the museum announced plans for the $325 million, 218,000-square-foot Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation. Jeanne Gang, founder of Studio Gang, the high-profile Chicago-based firm, won a competition to design it. She teamed with Reed Hilderbrand, the landscape architects from Cambridge, Mass.

The project promises much more room for education, exhibitions, laboratories, the library, open storage and a live butterfly conservatory. It includes a new theater devoted to invisible worlds — meaning microscopic creatures, the human brain, the ocean depths and the edge of the universe. The proposed center also solves humdrum but critical layout problems, integrating dead-end galleries and bringing public spaces, classrooms and research together in a single, soaring, canyonlike, central hall, behind an undulating stone-and-glass facade.

That’s the big move. With reinforced-concrete arches and balconies shaped like immense rocky outcroppings or glacial formations, the hall vies with the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda, the museum’s towering entrance on the opposite side of the campus.”

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