Photos Show Studio Gang’s Gilder Center in New York Nears Completion

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Construction progressed at Studio Gang’s Gilder Center in New York, with images showing the cave-like concrete interiors and wood-paneled exterior nearing completion.

The American architecture studio Studio Gang has released images of the construction of the central atrium of the Gilder Center, Griffin Atrium. The expansion will add many spaces to the American Museum of Natural History, including a library and exhibit halls.

Studio Gang’s Gilder Center at the American Museum of Natural History nears completion

The auditorium is constructed using a process where concrete is sprayed over rebar, giving it its fluid, cave-like appearance.

Known as shotcrete, the process, which is used in many museum spaces, requires the finishes to be done by hand.

Interior shotcrete atrium with bridge and skylight
The atrium is constructed with shotcrete

According to the studio, the four-story atrium will be a bright central area for the museum that will help circulate air throughout the structure.

Along the walls of the atrium, walkways and cutouts provide vantage points of the ground below. Dramatic skylights top the atrium, while bridges cross its central open space.

Construction worker walking down hallways of Gilder Center under construction
The construction shows a series of cave-like shapes

Images of the facade have also been released, showing cranes installing the Milford pink granite panels that will surround the central glazing of the facade.

The panels are the same type of stone used on the iconic facade of the main museum building in Central Park West, but Studio Gang chose to shape the panels with a 3D cut that will give the facade a wavy look.

“Their diagonal pattern evokes both geological bedding and the richly textured, flowing surface of stone masonry on the 77th Street side of the museum,” the studio said.

Connected to the atrium will be a series of other spaces, also nearing completion.

Gilder Center windows under construction
The building connects many structures of the museum

These include a research library, a five-story “collection core” where many of the museum’s exhibits will be held, classrooms, an insectarium and a vivarium that will hold more than 80 species of live butterflies.

The studio is also building Invisible Worlds, a permanent, immersive exhibit that shows virtually different scales of life processes on the planet.

Apart from the basic aspects of the project, the structure will also create connections for the 10 buildings already existing on the site.

These connections will create “one continuous four-block campus, as envisioned over 150 years ago,” according to the museum.

Gilder Center facade under construction
The facade is made of the same stone as the main museum building

The rear facade of the project interacts with other buildings on campus and features a large window inserted into the plaster and copper cladding.

In total, the Gilder Center facilities will measure a total of 230,000 square feet (21,367 meters).

Digital Room at Gilder Center
The building includes a number of permanent exhibition spaces, including Invisible Worlds

Studio Gang is working with landscape architecture studio Reed Hilderbrand to renovate the existing Theodore Roosevelt Park, adjacent to the Gilder Center.

Initial renderings of the project were revealed in 2019, and the museum said it plans to open in February 2023.

Other Studio Gang projects include a skyscraper with a “candy cane” facade in Hawaii and a ceramic-clad skyscraper in San Francisco currently under construction.

At the beginning of October, Jeanne Gang, founder of Studio Gang, received the Charlotte Perriand Prize for her work in the field of architecture.

The photograph is by Timothy Schenck/AMNH.

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