For an architect who had yet to break into the NYC scene, Jeanne Gang is now moving full steam ahead. Her firm, Studio Gang, received LPC approvals back in October for their much-hyped, $340 million Museum of Natural History expansion, and now, CityRealty tells us that construction has begun on their razor-edged glass tower along the High Line. Dubbed “Solar Carve Tower” for the firm’s strategy that “uses the incident angles of the sun’s ray to form the gem-like shape,” the 12-story office building will be Gang’s first ground-up project when completed.
After the architects at Studio Gang tweaked their proposal for the American Museum of Natural History expansion to preserve more public parkland out front, the Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously approved the plans in October. And now that things are moving ahead, and the price has jumped from $325 to $340 million, the institution shared new details about how the 235,000-square-foot Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation will operate. The update comes with a fresh set of interior renderings, which include views of the Butterfly Vivarium, Insectarium, and other educational spaces.
After revising its expansion plan last month to preserve more public parkland, the American Museum of Natural History had its day in front of the Landmarks Preservation Commission yesterday, and as DNAinfo reports, the agency lauded the plan for a new Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation, with chairwoman Meenakshi Srinivasan referring to it as a “stunning piece of architecture” and an “absolutely wonderful addition.” In making their determination, the Commission was presented with a slew of new renderings, which show the $325 million, Jeanne Gang-designed project from various angles, as well as new views of the surrounding parkland.
After first revealing its controversial $325 million expansion almost a year ago, the American Museum of Natural History has now filed plans with the Landmarks Preservation Commission to move ahead with the Jeanne Gang-designed project. Though, as the Wall Street Journal reports, there’s been some changes, mainly those responding to the community’s concerns over how much of the new Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation will encroach on Theodore Roosevelt Park, a city-owned space near the back of the museum at 79th Street.
The new curving Center will occupy one-quarter of an acre of the park, and two historic trees–a 125-year-old English elm and a 75-year-old pin oak tree– will be preserved. Therefore, the public space leading into the museum will have better circulation and more gathering spaces.
One of the many things that makes the American Museum of Natural History so fascinating is its combination of architecture–very different styles from varying time periods that together make up 25 separate structures. The original Victorian Gothic building was erected in 1877, followed and eclipsed quickly by the southern neo-Romanesque stretch. Then, in 1936, the grand Beaux-Arts entrance was added, and in 2000 the famous glass box known as the Rose Center for Earth and Space was built. Now, the museum is growing yet again, reports the Times, this time with a $325 million expansion courtesy of Studio Gang. In addition to its hefty price tag and undulating form, the addition is significant for the fact that it will be the first female-led project associated with the museum structure, as the firm is headed up by starchitect Jeanne Gang.
The Times calls the concept for the new Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation “both cautious and audacious,” noting that it “consumes less coveted park space than expected, while introducing a contemporary aesthetic that evokes Frank Gehry’s museum in Bilbao, Spain, in its undulating exterior and Turkey’s underground city of Cappadocia in its cavelike interior.” The new 218,00-square-foot Center will help solve circulation issues (it will create more than 30 access points across ten buildings) and will be an integrated space for museum activities and research.
Studio Gang‘s bold move to open an office in NYC couldn’t have come at a better time. The much admired studio led by Jeanne Gang just got the green light for their stunning angular glass structure, which will be sited right along the High Line on 10th Avenue between 13th and 14th streets.
Dubbed the ‘Solar Carve’, the new construction will be designated for office and retail use, housing 10 stories behind a glassy serrated edge and asymmetrical curves. The design, in true Studio Gang fashion, keeps sustainability in mind, and the building’s geometric form does follow function. The unique shape mitigates solar gain while taking advantage of the views between the High Line and the Hudson. A planted roof will also help cool the Solar Carve on hot days.