Our friends from Manhattan-based Weiss Manfredi have shared their museum design for Ithaca, New York’s Paleontological Research Institution, which houses one of the United States’ largest paleontological collections. Situated in the Finger Lakes region, the natural landforms of the site inspired the architects to take advantage of the existing gradual 40 ft slope – a feature which resulted from a receding ice sheet more than 20,000 years ago. Rather than considering the site as distinct and separate from the museum, this project creates a new topography: a continuous, terraced landscape that fuses architecture and ecology into a cohesive expression of the geologic processes involved in the region’s formation. More images and more about the museum after the break. When examined in section, the project’s harmony of the built form in relation to the existing is completely evident; a strategy that allows the museum to seemingly be rooted into the site and gracefully rise from the ground.
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