Studio Gang Creates Concrete Caverns for The Gilder Center in NYC

Studio Gang Creates Concrete Caverns for The Gilder Center in NYC

05/02/2023

Studio Gang has unveiled its design of the American Museum of Natural History’s Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation, which features undulating curves formed from sprayed concrete.

The building, located in New York City, is set to open to the public on May 4th and is the latest development in the museum’s plan to transform its entire campus. Designed by international practice Studio Gang, led by Jeanne Gang, the space takes cues from the ways in which naturally occurring processes, such as wind and water, shape landscapes.

Across the 230,000-square-foot project (190,000 square feet of new construction, 40,000 square feet of renovated space), the project includes six floors above ground, four of which are open to the public, and one below.

Outside, The Gilder Center’s undulating façade is clad in Milford pink granite. Visitors enter the space and are immediately invited into the Griffin Atrium. Here, the design was informed by caves found in southwestern US states, and the ways in which water and wind carve out the rock pathways to create cavernous holes. To recreate these softly undulating curves and rounded niches, the architects employed a technique named “shotcrete”, in which concrete is sprayed directly onto the rebar.

While the design allows for shaded spaces that feel tucked away, most of the atrium is lit via daylight flooding through skylights, which puncture through the concrete interior. For Gang, the entire design needed to encompass a sense of discovery that would encourage the visitors to make their own journeys around the whole space.

“Stepping inside the large daylit atrium, you are offered glimpses of the different exhibits on multiple levels,” Gang says. “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.”

Visitors can access other levels via a grand staircase, which has been crafted from walnut-covered treads and is broad enough to encompass seating steps. “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,” Gang adds. “It aims to draw everyone in—all ages, backgrounds, and abilities—to share the excitement of learning about the natural world.”

Take a look around the Gilder Center above, and for more design – check out this mansion from Succession, that has recently gone on the market for $55 million USD.
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