The American Museum of Natural History saw exciting advancements in genomics being made by its scientists as an opportunity to create the world’s most up to date exhibit on the origins of humans. Perkins Eastman, working alongside the museum’s exhibition team, designed the installation of the Anne and Bernard Spitzer Hall of Human Origins. Gutting the existing exhibit and setting dioramas and artifacts aside, the team developed an updated framework and exhibitory scheme to showcase what we know about how we evolved as a species. Original architectural features such as decorative column capitals complement modern features including a large entry icon lit with LED projections that supports three skeletons stands visible from the grand gallery. At the center of the space, a large glass rotunda houses refurbished dioramas behind a large laminated curving glass wall and is comprised of caseworks and mountings that look and feel consistent while highlighting each artifact uniquely.
The Perkins Eastman team also renovated spaces adjacent to the exhibit including the grand gallery, where they restored an original Carrara mosaic floor. New designs included a 77th street entrance and café as well as the Butterfly Vivarium—the museum’s first live exhibit and a popular destination for kids during winter months for over 20 years.