American Museum of Natural History, Rose Center for Earth and Space

Rose Hero

American Museum of Natural History, Rose Center for Earth and Space

The iconic sphere within a glass cube of the Rose Center for Earth and Space redefines this landmark cultural institution for the twenty-first century. The technical virtuosity and extreme clarity of the curtainwall, the soaring interior space and the articulated spatial experience inspire an appreciation of the wonders of our universe and the power of scientific inquiry.

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The new Rose Center brings us face to face with something commensurate to our capacity for wonder… this is a mature modern building, a structure unafraid of revealing the deep roots from which modern architecture arose.

Herbert Muschamp, Architecture Critic
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The building is designed as a visible expression of the science it contains. Transparency of the curtain wall demystifies and illuminates the cube’s contents, both enhancing the presence of the sphere and revealing its gravitational force to serve the institution’s goal to "de-brick" science. 

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Exhibits are integrated with the architecture and the larger sequence throughout the building to create a seamless union of structure, form and function. A clear and flexible sequence of spaces and educational experiences begins with the building itself, whose structure, skin and systems are models of the most advanced technologies made accessible by means of both the literal and metaphoric transparency of the design. 

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In concert with the building, hands-on exhibits, interactive experiences, pervasive technology, media and real-time feeds facilitate learning at every level, dramatizing the study of earth and space and attracting adults and children to participate physically and intellectually in the education and exhibition programs.

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The cube is a bold, striking contrast to the designated landmark complex. The building contributes to the social and environmental stability of its urban precinct by completing the Museum’s north side, restoring a public park and creating a new public outdoor space.

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New York, NY
379,000 GSF
432-seat Space Theater, Big Bang Theater, New Entrance to the Museum, Permanent Exhibit Space, Expanded Restaurant and Retail Facilities, New Educational Resource Center, Parking, Landscaped Terrace


Ennead Design Team
James S. Polshek, 1930-2022, Todd Schliemann, Joseph Fleischer, David Wallance, Tyler Donaldson, Kalavati Somvanshi, Charmian Place, Judi Bauer, John Jordan, John Lowery, V. Guy Maxwell, Craig McIlhenny, William Van Horn, Matt Viederman, Jo Walker, Charlene Andreas, Ruth Berktold, Anya Bokov, Charles Brainerd, Lori Brown, Elina Cardet, Minsuk Cho, M. Gregory Clawson, Maria Cruz, Carlos Espinoza, John Fernandez, Marius Gailin, Leila Gilchrist, Hau Hsu, Jason Johnson, Francelle Lim, Kate Mann, J. Massey, Craig Mutter, Joseph Puma, Dori Raskin, Michael Regan, Marco Salcedo, Kathleen Smith, Dorota Szwem, Mark Thaler, William Truitt, Don Weinreich, Lawrence Zeroth
Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Inc.
Photography / Videography
Richard Barnes, Jeff Goldberg/Esto, Denis Finnin/American Museum of Natural History, Vincent Laforet, Aislinn Weidele/Ennead Architects, National Geographic


  • 2002
    • AIA National Honor Award for Architecture
    • Award for Excellence in Design, AIA/New York State
  • 2001
    • Design Excellence Award, AIA/New York Chapter
    • American Architecture Award, The Chicago Athenaeum
  • 2000
    • Best in Design: 2000, Time Magazine
    • Award for Design Excellence, The Concrete Industry Board, Inc. of New York
    • Bronze Plaque for Excellence in Design, The Municipal Art Society of New York
    • Business Week/Architectural Record Award, AIA/Business Week Magazine
    • NYACE Diamond Award for Engineering Excellence in Design, New York Association of Consulting Engineers
  • 1999
    • Best of 1999 Award, New York Construction News


  • 2001
    • Bohlen, Celestine. "Built for Substance, Not Flash" (The New York Times, 1/22/2001)
  • 2000
    • Forgey, Benjamin. "Starry-Eyed in Manhattan" (The Washington Post, 2/27/2000)
    • Goldberger, Paul. "Stairway To The Stars" (The New Yorker, 1/17/2000)
    • Kamin, Blair. "The Hayden Sphere Has Landed, and It's Friendly to Earthlings" (The Chicago Tribune, 3/13/2000)
    • Muschamp, Herbert. "It's Something New Under the Stars (and Looking Up)" (The New York Times, 2/13/2000)
    • Noble Wilford, John. "Bringing the Universe Inside" (The New York Times, 2/13/2000)
    • Ouroussoff, Nicolai. "The World Under Glass" (Los Angeles Times, 2/26/2000)
    • Pearson, Clifford A. "Polshek Partnership Brings the Stars to the Masses in the New Rose Center for Earth and Space" (Architectural Record, 8/2000)
  • 1999
    • Dunlap, David W. "Castles, and Planetariums, in the Air" (The New York Times, 3/11/1999)
    • Larson, Soren. "A Design Crossing Time and Space: New York City's New Planetarium" (Architectural Record, 5/1999)