American Museum of Natural History Hall of Human Origins

American Museum of Natural History Hall of Human Origins

New York, New York
Perkins Eastman teamed with the in-house design department of the American Museum of Natural History to complete a 9,000 sf renovation of the Anne and Bernard Spitzer Hall of Human Origins—a permanent exhibition space that explores humans as part of the animal kingdom and their evolution. ??

Perkins Eastman worked closely with the museum's experts to upgrade the exhibits, improve traffic flow, and design a classroom-style orientation room for group visits. Since the museum's landmark status precludes modifications to the hall's exterior, Perkins Eastman designed a series of curved non-load-bearing walls that divide the space according to a new curatorial focus while maximizing exhibit flexibility and crowd circulation. Channel glass walls and platforms de-emphasize the separation between exhibit and visitor while protecting valuable artifacts. The orientation room is complete with classroom-style seating and a laboratory for projects and tutorials. Details are specific to the museum’s aesthetic, including terrazzo and stone flooring and fabric wall coverings, while satisfying the exhibit's technical requirements with projectors, HVAC systems, acoustical ceilings and floors, and concealed cabling. Perkins Eastman staged the renovation process to create as little disturbance as possible to the museum and its visitors during operating hours.