Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation, American Museum of Natural History

with Studio Gang Architects and Zubatkin Owner Representation

The new Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation completes the American Museum of Natural History creating a new entrance, and science and exhibition spaces for visitors.

Visitors will enter a light-filled, expressive atrium with surrounding theater space, a vivarium and research spaces, to create an exciting new educational experience.

Through early design phase analyses, Atelier Ten incorporated multiple sustainable design strategies that help to create an engaging and comfortable space for the visitors of the museum. The design of the atrium allows for high-quality and well-distributed natural daylight. The size, shape, and orientation of both the façade and skylight openings bring in little exposure to direct sunlight while providing useful daylight to the space all the way to the ground level.

The conditioned air is supplied at a lower velocity from the air supply diffuser located on the ground floor to provide high-quality air closer to where people gather. The air is then extracted above the occupied zone using the buoyancy effect and exhausted at the upper level.

The site design provides an outdoor pedestrian experience that is aesthetically pleasing, thermally comfortable, and educational. The design includes native and adaptive vegetation, low-light pollution site lighting, and high reflectance roof and tree canopy to reduce the urban heat island effect and improve outdoor thermal comfort.

Expressing the Museum’s mission towards sustainability and preservation, the project optimizes both HVAC systems and the building envelope design to improve energy performance.

The Gilder Center is expected to have 25% energy cost savings over ASHRAE 90.1-2010. The LEED Gold-targeted project will be an instrumental part in the Museum’s larger commitment to greenhouse gas reduction goals.