New York Hall of Science

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New York Hall of Science

A metaphor for the institution’s commitment to make science comprehensible and accessible to all, the luminous form of the expansion is contrasted with the opacity and solidity of the original building.

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Though art and science are often portrayed as divergent, mechanisms of perception are integral to both. Architecture is a tool to shape the public’s relationship to the Hall of Science, maximizing access to the exhibitions within.

Todd Schliemann, Design Partner
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The power of this dynamic ensemble derives from the juxtaposition of forms and materials. Articulated as a series of folded planes wrapped with translucent fiberglass panels, the Hall of Light expansion is a horizontal counterpoint to the undulating vertical form of Harrison & Abramovitz’s 1964 World’s Fair pavilion. 

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The expansion, which adds significant gallery space, transforms the institution’s identity and visitor experience by redefining and expanding the exhibit sequence and optimizing circulation. A transparent base at the north allows glimpses into the Hall’s interior, emphasizing the accessibility of the Museum. Discovery Labs, adjacent and open to the new exhibition spaces on the upper and lower gallery, are given visible identity and ambiguous thresholds to draw visitors.

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The luminous new addition provides an anchor and backdrop for a newly landscaped precinct that is home to the renovated Rocket Park and accommodates outdoor programming, paying homage to the public heritage of the World’s Fair site. At night, the new addition becomes a subtly glowing lantern in the park.

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The meticulous restoration of the iconic cellular concrete frame infilled with dark cobalt-colored, cast-glass was completed in 2015. 

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Great Hall Upgrades and Terrace Improvements
Queens, NY
72,000 GSF
Two Permanent Exhibit Halls, Hall For Traveling Exhibits, Science Classrooms, Teacher Training and Resource Center, Lobby Improvements, Reception Lobby for Groups, Administrative Offices, Meeting Room, Percent for Art Program, Existing Building Mechanical and Electrical System Improvements


Ennead Design Team
Todd Schliemann, Joseph Fleischer, Don Weinreich, V. Guy Maxwell, Charmian Place, John Allee, Ray Brown, Andrew Comfort, Eric Fauerbach, Jun Fujita, Sally Leung, Megan Miller, Alex O'Briant, Edgar Papazian, Michael Regan, William Rosebro, James Sinks, Brian Slocum, Michael Stoddard, David Wallance
Photography / Videography
Jeff Goldberg/Esto, Ezra Stoller/Esto, Aislinn Weidele/Ennead Architects, Spirit of Space/Small Stuff


  • 2005
    • Merit Award, AIA/New York State
    • BE Award of Excellence from Bentley Systems
    • Cultural Project of the Year, The Construction Management Association
  • 2004
    • First Prize for Public Building, Queens Chamber of Commerce
  • 2001
    • Award for Excellence in Design, The Art Commission of the City of New York


  • 2017
  • 2005
    • Kimmelman, Michael. "Risks and Rewards of Art in the Open" (The New York Times, 8/19/2005)
  • 2004
    • Gardner, James. "Wrestling With the Past & Winning Architecture," (New York Sun, 11/22/2004)
    • Rothstein, Edward. "From Internet Arm Wrestling to the Magic of Math, " (The New York Times, 11/24/2004)
    • Macgowan, Carl. "New science hall wing lights up Queens," (New York Newsday, 11/20/2004)
    • "Museum Addition Brings More Things to Try At Hands-On Science Museum in New York," (The Associated Press, 11/23/2004)
    • Bernstein, Fred . "Restoring a Modernist Gem" (The New York Times, 11/7/2004)
    • Kilgannon, Corey. "The Rocket Park Reopens, And Cronkite Reminisces" (The New York Times, 10/1/2004)
    • Trescott, Jacqueline. "Mall's Finite Space Holds Infinite Dreams" (The Washington Post, 9/15/2004)
  • 2003
    • Hall of Science Expanding in Queens" (New York Construction News, 7/2003)
  • 2001
    • Dunlap, David W . "A Queens Park's Past Shapes Its Future" (The New York Times, 8/26/2001)