flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

Cleveland’s Natural History museum to break ground on new Exhibit Hall

Museums

Cleveland’s Natural History museum to break ground on new Exhibit Hall

The added space will organize its artifacts and specimens to show humanity’s connection to science, the planet, and the universe.


By John Caulfield, Senior Editor | June 22, 2021
A rendering of the new addition to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History
A rendering of the new addition to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Last December, the 100-year-old Cleveland Museum of Natural History completed an $8.9 million overhaul of its Thelma and Kent H. Smith Environmental Courtyard and the upgrade of its 450-seat Murch Auditorium. The courtyard was one of several “gateway” projects that have been interim stages of a $150 million expansion and renovation of the Museum, whose new 50,000-sf Exhibit Hall, main lobby, and café are scheduled to break ground this Thursday.

Sonia Winner, the Museum’s President and CEO, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the institution was also planning an $11.4 million upgrade of its central utility plant.

Since 1958, when the Museum moved to its current location, it has expanded at least six times. The latest expansion, designed by DLR Group, will feature a curving, snow-white roof made from cast-concrete panels and intended to evoke the glacier that covered Northeast Ohio during the last ice age. (Panzica Construction is the GC on this project.)

The museum’s latest expansion and renovation will create new exhibits, developed by Gallagher & Associates, and add curatorial posts for the purposes of connecting, in new ways, the Museum’s collections and research with public education and programming.

Cleveland Natural HIstory Museum Planetary Process Gallery

A rendering of the Museum's Planetary Process Gallery. The Museum's exhibit reorganization will attempt to connect humanity to the larger universe. Image: Gallagher & Associates

 

RETELLING HISTORY’S MARCH

The museum, which pre-pandemic was drawing 260,000 visitors annually, holds more than five million artifacts and specimens, and, through its Natural Areas program, stewards more than 11,000 acres of nature preserve in Northeast Ohio. Massive new exterior glass walls will wrap around the addition’s façade to open sightlines between the exhibits and the surrounding landscape of Wade Oval.

Inside, the traditional museum organization—by time period, geography, and species—is being deconstructed to tell integrated stories of planetary and biological processes.

The goal of this “reinvention” is to show more clearly how humanity intersects with the continuum of life on Earth and universal forces.

“We are creating a new model for natural history museums that uses the past to inform our present to build a better future together,” explains Winner. “Our reimagined museum will illuminate the interconnectedness of human life and the natural world, and how science is essential to our lives.”

 A remade environmental courtyard that opened last year at Cleveland's Natural History museum

An “environmental courtyard,” which received an $8.9 million makeover, now serves as one of the Museum's gateways. Image: Cleveland Museum of Natural History

 

EVOLUTION ON DISPLAY

The museum addition (parts of which are scheduled to open next year) is being constructed on what currently is a parking lot, and will include a central welcome and orientation area, another gateway. The new Visitors Hall will feature a reconstruction of “Lucy,” the 3.2-million-year-old human ancestor that a team of Cleveland museum scientists first discovered 45 years ago, as well as a geological sample collected from the Moon, and specimens of modern-day animals to illustrate evolutionary and biological changes.

A new self-guided interactive space, The Ames Family Curiosity Center, is meant to connect the museum’s collections with its visitors’ lived experiences and global science-related news.

The addition and renovation should be completed sometime in 2024.

Dinosaur exhibit space at Cleveland's Natural History Museum

Each of the Museum's exhibitions will be part of a larger evolutionary story. Image: DLR Group

Tags

Related Stories

Museums | Oct 25, 2022

Seattle Aquarium’s new Ocean Pavilion emphasizes human connection to oceans

Seattle Aquarium’s new Ocean Pavilion, currently under construction, features several exhibits that examine the human connection with the Earth’s oceans.

| Sep 1, 2022

The University of Iowa opens the new Stanley Museum of Art, a public museum for both discovering and teaching art

The University of Iowa recently completed its new Stanley Museum of Art, a public teaching museum designed by BNIM.

Giants 400 | Aug 22, 2022

Top 90 Construction Management Firms for 2022

CBRE, Alfa Tech, Jacobs, and Hill International head the rankings of the nation's largest construction management (as agent) and program/project management firms for nonresidential and multifamily buildings work, as reported in Building Design+Construction's 2022 Giants 400 Report.

Giants 400 | Aug 19, 2022

2022 Giants 400 Report: Tracking the nation's largest architecture, engineering, and construction firms

Now 46 years running, Building Design+Construction's 2022 Giants 400 Report rankings the largest architecture, engineering, and construction firms in the U.S. This year a record 519 AEC firms participated in BD+C's Giants 400 report. The final report includes more than 130 rankings across 25 building sectors and specialty categories. 

| Aug 19, 2022

Manassas Museum renovated to reimagine a civic design & engage the community

Manassas, VA has recently added to its historic Manassas Museum.

Cultural Facilities | Aug 5, 2022

A time and a place: Telling American stories through architecture

As the United States enters the year 2026, it will commence celebrating a cycle of Sestercentennials, or 250th anniversaries, of historic and cultural events across the land.

Museums | Jul 11, 2022

Denmark opens a museum that tells the stories of refugees worldwide

Located on the site of Denmark’s largest World War II refugee camp, the new Refugee Museum of Denmark, FLUGT, tells the stories of refugees from the camp as well as refugees worldwide. 

Museums | Jun 28, 2022

The California Science Center breaks grounds on its Air and Space Center

The California Science Center—a hands-on science center in Los Angeles—recently broke ground on its Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center.

Museums | May 31, 2022

University of Texas at Dallas breaks ground on new 12-acre cultural district

The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) recently broke ground on the Crow Museum of Asian Art, the first phase of a new 12-acre cultural district on campus.

Museums | Mar 16, 2022

Unpacking the secrets to good museum storage

Museum leaders should focus as much design attention on the archives as the galleries themselves, according to a new white paper by Erin Flynn and Bruce Davis, architects and museum experts with the firm Cooper Robertson.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category



Giants 400

Top 90 Construction Management Firms for 2022

CBRE, Alfa Tech, Jacobs, and Hill International head the rankings of the nation's largest construction management (as agent) and program/project management firms for nonresidential and multifamily buildings work, as reported in Building Design+Construction's 2022 Giants 400 Report.


halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021

 



Magazine Subscription
Subscribe

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe

Follow BD+C: