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The Richard Gilder Center is the new temple for natural science in New York City

At the Davis Family Butterfly Vivarium, there are 80 species of butterflies.
At the Davis Family Butterfly Vivarium, there are 80 species of butterflies. Copyright Iwan Baan/Studio Gang
Copyright Iwan Baan/Studio Gang
By Doloresz Katanich with AP
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The Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation is the new wing of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. It houses some 4 million species and opens its doors today.

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Tiny ants march along a glass bridge over people’s heads while giant whales swoop along the walls in an immersive display. Five levels of wonders of the natural world are waiting for visitors in the newly opened wing of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, US.

Designed by the Chicago-based Studio Gang, the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation is on its way to becoming an architectural icon in the heart of New York, where it shelters some 4 million species. 

The cave-like atrium entrance is an intriguing landscape on its own, inspired by canyons and caves in the West. The façade is clad in Milford pink granite – the same stone used for the Museum's entrance on Central Park West. 

The Gilder Center has been nearly a decade in the making and cost approximately €423 million ($465 million) to construct. 

Further inside, the centre features a new interactive insect exhibition, including an insectarium and butterfly vivarium where visitors can mingle with hundreds of moths and butterflies. 

A stunning immersive show called 'Invisible Worlds' is also part of the wonders on-site, illustrating how all life on Earth is connected. 

At an age of increasing worry over climate change and loss of biodiversity, this seems to be just the place to visit. 

“In terms of trying to understand our intersecting crises of biodiversity and climate change, I think our research and what we're exhibiting here should get people to really pause and think about that," says American Museum of Natural History Provost of Science Cheryl Hayashi. 

"Actually we have pretty significant insect decline going on all around the world. And why is that? What is the role of habitat loss, the role of temperature change? That all comes into play and is something that the visitors will learn,” adds Hayashi.

The building also houses an expanded research library, plenty of classrooms, learning labs, and education areas that serve students ranging from elementary school through to professional science teachers.

The Gilder Center opens its doors today, 4 May 2023. 

Watch the video to learn more about this iconic piece of architecture.

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