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The Museum of Natural History is getting a gallery full of bugs

Written by
Howard Halle

Over the past year or so, plans for an expansion for the Museum of Natural History have been announced and approved. Now new details are emerging of what people can expect when the new addition—the 235,000-square-foot Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation—opens in 2020. A lot of it, as it turns out, involves bugs.

Courtesy Ralph Appelbaum Associates

The futuristic design by Chicago-based Studio Gang architects includes two major sections devoted to bugs: A state-of-the-art Insectarium (the first such facility in a half century) and a Butterfly Vivarium that will upgrade the current Butterfly Conservatory. Both galleries will be loaded with interactive, high-tech exhibits while the Vivarium will also have live butterflies flitting about.

Courtesy Ralph Appelbaum Associates

The Gilder Center itself is anchored by 21,000-square-foot glass-walled Collection Core equipped with observation areas that allow visitors to watch scientists at work. In all, the new addition will contain 3.9 million specimens or about ten percent of the museum’s total collection.

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