Construction is progressing on the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation, a 230,000-square-foot addition to the American Museum of Natural History at 415 Columbus Avenue on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Designed by Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang, the new wing is expected to cost around $383 million.
Recent photos show the reinforced concrete superstructure taking form next to Theodore Roosevelt Park and the intersection of West 79th Street and Columbus Avenue. The distinctive curved edges of the building are becoming apparent as the structure rises below the yellow crane. Steel rebar, orange netting, wooden railings, and construction equipment were spotted alongside construction workers walking across the newly created floors.
The educational center will house multiple new exhibition galleries designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, a tall central atrium framed by amorphous openings in that lead up to a series of large skylights, a glass-enclosed “Collections Core” that would showcase four million specimens as well as classrooms and an insectarium, and a living butterfly exhibit called the “Butterfly Vivarium.” In addition, Theodore Roosevelt Park is planned to receive a newly revamped landscape design and overhaul by Reed Hilderbrand. The firm plans to expand the entrance to the public park from Columbus Avenue in order to create a more efficient flow of indoor-outdoor circulation to and from the museum, and bring extra seating and new trees to the neighborhood.
Completion of the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation is slated for sometime in 2022, as noted on the construction board. The project is aiming for LEED Gold certification.