the natural history museum’s new exhibits and research facilities

the natural history museum’s new exhibits and research facilities


Studio Gang‘s Gilder Center embodies the Natural History Museum’s mission of science and education by introducing innovative exhibitions, world-class research facilities, and next-generation classrooms. Its design incorporates spaces for research collections, exhibitions, and learning, all situated in close proximity, reinforcing the central role of natural history collections in scientific discovery. Visitors to the museum will enjoy engaging exhibits and programs that connect them to the evidence and processes of science.


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. It aims to draw everyone in — all ages, backgrounds, and abilities — to share the excitement of learning about the natural world,’ said Jeanne Gang, founding principal and partner of Studio Gang.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 with the many new connections that the architecture creates between buildings, it also improves your ability to navigate the Museum’s campus as a whole.’

studio gang natural historyimage © designboom



studio gang’s undulating facade and sunlit atrium


The architects at Studio Gang design the sculptural structure with an undulating facade made of Milford pink granite. With its openings enclosed by bird-safe fritted glass and its surfaces clad with diagonal stone panels, the museum’s facade evokes geological layering and harmonizes with the textured, coursing surface of the masonry on the Natural History Museum’s 77th Street side.


The entrance of the Gilder Center is a grand, five-story Atrium that is illuminated with natural light through large-scale skylights. The atrium’s texture, color, and flowing forms are inspired by canyons in the southwestern U.S. and the forms that hot water etches in blocks of ice. With these organic forms and textures, the space at once inspires exploration for visitors.

studio gang natural history image © Iwan Baan



The striking structure of this Kenneth C. Griffin Exploration Atrium has been built using a technique known as ‘shotcrete,’ invented by Museum naturalist and taxidermy artist Carl Akeley, in which concrete is sprayed directly onto rebar without traditional formwork. The bridges and openings in the hand-finished shotcrete connect visitors physically and visually to multiple levels housing new exhibition galleries, education spaces, and collections facilities, creating welcoming sightlines that encourage movement throughout the building. The verticality of the Griffin Atrium provides natural light and air circulation to the building’s interior, making it a key sustainability feature.

studio gang natural history image © Iwan Baan



The completed Gilder Center is a testament to the Museum’s commitment to science and education. Studio Gang’s ambitious design is awe-inspiring and evokes excitement and discovery — all while providing a deeper experience that connects visitors to the evidence and processes of science through engaging exhibits and programs. It establishes continuous pathways through the Museum’s four-block campus, connecting buildings that were constructed over nearly 150 years, enhancing the visitor experience, and providing a modern space for research and education.

studio gang natural history image © Iwan Baan


image © Iwan Baan


studio gang sculpts the natural history museum's new wing like an eroded canyonimage © Iwan Baan


image © Iwan Baan




project info:


project title: The Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation

architecture: Studio Gang @studiogang

location: American Museum of Natural History, New York | @amnh

previous coverage: November 2015January 2017, June 2019March 2022

opening: May 4th, 2023

photography: © Iwan Baan@iwanbaan


project team: Studio Gang, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, And Reed Hilderbrand, Aecom Tishman, Arup, Atelier Ten, Burohappold Engineering, Davis Brody Bond, Langan Engineering, Renfro Design Group, Tamschick Media+space With Bma Boris Micka Associates, Venable Llp And Akrf, And Zubatkin Owner Representation

donor: Richard Gilder And The Gilder Foundation, Inc.

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