The American Museum of Pure Historical past (AMNH) opened in 1877 on a barren stretch simply reverse Manhattan’s Central Park and has since grown right into a 15-building campus of divergent typologies and kinds. The most recent entry, designed by Studio Gang with Davis Brody Bond, stands out by becoming in, because of an attention-grabbing, but reverential Milford pink granite facade on an undulating shotcrete base. The stone selection matches that on the outside of the principle wing.
The Gilder Middle for Science, Schooling, and Innovation is supposed to bolster the museum’s science and analysis packages whereas bettering circulation amongst its many wings. However on the Higher West Facet, the place historic preservation has a militant edge, aesthetics can’t be ignored. In line with Weston Walker, a companion and design principal at Studio Gang, the design crew embraced AMNH’s ever-changing nature to win over the Landmarks Preservation Fee, which reviewed the undertaking.
“One of many issues that turned clear within the overview course of is that the museum shouldn’t be architecturally or traditionally fastened,” Walker informed AN, “however somewhat an evolving assortment of interconnected buildings constructed and altered over time—a sort of microcosm of the evolution of New York Metropolis’s architectural heritage.”
Situated alongside the campus’s western perimeter, the 230,000-square-foot undertaking rests on a strong concrete basis that after anchored the museum’s dynamo-populated energy plant. Reusing the prevailing basis saved each money and time, although with a price range of $431 million, that wouldn’t appear to have been a significant concern. Shoring and underpinning have been utilized as wanted to stabilize the adjoining constructions.
Studio Gang’s design referred to as for a windswept outcrop with a four-story atrium crisscrossed by stony bridges. To realize the constructing’s plastic type, the architects elected to make use of structural shotcrete, which (because the identify suggests) includes projecting concrete at a excessive velocity onto inner rebar assist. In contrast with the preplanned methodology of casting concrete, the method for “taking pictures” shotcrete feels virtually improvisatory, involving an assortment of instruments comparable to rods and trowels. Virtually. On the Gilder Middle, the shotcrete ranges in thickness from 4 to 24 inches to accommodate the advanced geometries. The precise calculations have been carried out by structural engineer Arup.
Walker defined that “quite a lot of the curvature within the constructing’s type is enhancing the construction’s arching motion—these curves assist transfer gravity hundreds from horizontal to vertical. It’s an age-old structural geometry that we have been in a position to interpret with a up to date materials utility.” Studio Gang erected a number of mock-ups to “higher perceive what sort of kinds and floor qualities we may obtain, and to study concerning the strategy of making use of the shotcrete from the expert tradespeople in order that we may correctly design the constructing inside the framework of this distinctive course of.”
The facade set up is ready to start in just a few weeks’ time. The pink granite blocks seen in renderings will probably be minimize and assembled first as “mega panels,” a method that may pace alongside transportation and set up. (Hofmann Facades and Island Exterior Fabricators, appearing in coordination with facade engineers from Buro Happold, will oversee the method.) The outsized panels, with their various widths and programs, have a grain recalling a geological stratum, in addition to the weathered stone masonry of the adjoining constructions.
Semicircular home windows minimize into the granite-decked facade preserve a minimal window- to-wall ratio, a key a part of the undertaking’s technique to succeed in LEED Gold certification. The glazed wall above the entry is shaded by a constructing nub, whereas a big skylight will pour mild into the constructing’s atrium and its many adjoining bridges and corridors.
The Gilder Middle is scheduled to open this winter, and in accordance with Studio Gang founding principal and companion Jeanne Gang, “The structure intends to kindle the spirit of discovery and provide an invite to discover.” A becoming aspiration for this time-honored establishment.
Development supervisor: AECOM Tishman Development Company
Structural engineer: Arup
Facade engineer: Buro Happold Engineering
Facade consultants: Hofmann Facades, Island Exterior Fabricators
Shotcrete subcontractor: COST