The Smithsonian Institution

National Museum of Natural History - Hall of Fossils Renovation

Washington, DC

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is home to the Institution’s collection of dinosaur fossils. Major renovations in the 1960s, 80s, and early 2000s, dramatically altered the appearance and unique character of Dinosaur Hall and museum administrators sought to bring it back in a meaningful and responsible way. Prior alterations concealed a skylight above the hall, obstructing natural light and altering the feel of the gallery. EwingCole’s renovation uncovered the skylight and surrounding exterior windows, restored decorative plasterwork, and upgraded the museum’s aging infrastructure with modern technologies. Each of the museum’s main halls are now open and inviting. Prior to the renovations you always felt like you were in an artificial setting, but so much of the museum’s story is about Earth’s broader ecosystem. The spaces have remarkably changed. They feel more expansive and alive.