American Museum of Natural History

Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation

Hailed as a soaring architectural achievement, the new Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation represents the first major expansion on the American Museum of Natural History’s 150-year old campus since the Rose Center for Earth and Space. The project includes world-class research lab facilities and scientific collections, next-generation classrooms, and innovative exhibitions, including the family insectarium and butterfly conservatory. Other program elements include a library, dining and retail amenities, as well as supporting infrastructure and administrative spaces.

The Gilder project creates more than 30 new connections among 10 of the Museum’s buildings – linking the entire four-block campus and establishing a new entrance in the adjacent Theodore Roosevelt Park. The complex program required the coordination of a complex public approvals and community engagement process; phasing of construction around ongoing Museum operations; funding from multiple sources, including the City of New York; and integration of the program, sustainability, infrastructure, and operational needs

Role + Responsibilities

Over the past 28 years, Zubatkin has had the privilege of partnering with the Museum on its major capital projects and other master planning initiatives. Working closely with the Museum’s leadership and stakeholder groups, Zubatkin was responsible for overseeing the planning, design, and construction of the Gilder Center, including the development of the exhibits, implementation of over 50 enabling projects, and adjacent park improvements.

In addition to the day-to-day management and administration, the Zubatkin team has served as a strategic resource for informing Museum decision-making related to programmatic, budget, schedule, approvals, and technical challenges. The firm was also responsible for managing the financial reporting, project controls and the coordination of funding from multiple sources.

Related Projects

  • Client American Museum of Natural History
  • Location New York, NY
  • Size

    230,000 sf

  • Architect
    • Studio Gang Architects (Design Architect)
    • Davis Brody Bond (Executive Architect
    • Ralph Appelbaum Associates (Exhibit Designer)
  • Construction Manager
    • Tishman Construction


Contribution to Overall Campus Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals

25% energy cost savings over ASHRAE 90.1-2010 standards

Jury Award, Unbuilt – Cultural, Architizer A+ Awards, 2020

Honorable Mention, The Architect’s Newspaper Best of Design Awards, Unbuilt – Cultural Category, 2019

Finalist, Future Projects – Culture Category, World Architecture Festival, 2019