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

New York, New York

Rose Center Beneath
Rose Center Interior

The Rose Center for Earth and Space is an iconic international hub for the study of astronomy and earth sciences for researchers and the general public alike.

Rose Center for Earth and Space 3
Rose Center for Earth and Space 3

RAA was asked to design a new visitor journey for the redeveloped Center, one that would take them from the outer reaches of space to the inner workings of Earth. The design process involved extensive collaboration with the museum’s scientists and educators as well as the building architect. The building is a learning tool and a visible expression of the science it contains. The Center’s components—the Planetarium, Scales of the Universe exhibits, Big Bang Theater, Spiral Through Cosmic Evolution, and the Hall of the Universe—are structured in a sequential narrative that facilitates recall.

Rose Center for Earth and Space 4

Sound effects, audio narration, and background effects support an array of exhibition techniques: interactive and participatory media, mini-theaters, custom 3-D visualizations, the world’s largest terrarium, and the Center’s largest artifact: the fifteen-and-a-half-ton Willamette Meteorite – so heavy the building was constructed around it.

Rose Center for Earth and Space 6
Rose Center for Earth and Space 6

Visitors receive up-to-date information through hands-on exhibits. Scholarly curation, media, real-time feeds, images, kinetic models, and advanced computer graphics illustrate astrophysics, astronomy, and earth science for an audience of all ages and backgrounds.

Rose Center for Earth and Space 7

Opened in 2000, the Rose Center’s startling glass-cube exterior, the enormous Hayden Sphere visible within it, is one of New York City’s architectural icons as well as one of the city’s premier tourist attractions.

Year 2000

Size 23,000 square feet

Architect Ennead Architects(Formerly Polshek Partnership Architects)

AwardsCeramic Tiles of Italy Design Competition | Assopiastrelle: Winner, Special Award – Mosaic Design and InstallationThe International Design Magazine (I.D.) Annual Design Review: Honorable Mention, EnvironmentsIndustrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), International Design Excellence Award (IDEA): Gold, EnviromentsSEGD Global Design Award: Merit Award, Exhibition Design/Museum EnvironmentsADC: Art Directors Club Award: Distinctive Merit

Rose Center for Earth and Space 8