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Design firm Gallagher & Associates (G&A) joined KSS Architects, Ennead Architects, and Rowan University in breaking ground for the construction of the Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park Museum of Rowan University. G&A and its partners will create a high-tech, immersive experience around the park's quarry, which is home to thousands of fossils from the Late Cretaceous Period when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. The destination—which is part museum, research center, and nature park—will offer paleontologists and citizen scientists alike an interactive window into millions of years of our planet's history. With its in-house Gallagher Museum Services practice, G&A is helping develop both the museum's immersive design experience and its strategic, financial, and operational plans to ensure long-term success.
“Once completed, the Jean and Ric Edelman Fossil Park Museum will bring eons of history to life through immersive, integrated design," said Michael Lewis, Executive Creative Director at G&A. "G&A is proud to help create both the design and the operational strategy for this museum, which will place visitors at the center of the awe-inspiring story of life on Earth."
Edelman Fossil Park & Museum will provide visitors with an immersive experience from start to finish. Guests can dig for fossils in the quarry, take them to the fossil field station, and discuss their discoveries with paleontologists and student scientists. Exhibits inside the facility will take patrons through the history of the Late Cretaceous Period, while the quarry will allow visitors to experience that history firsthand. Dr. Kenneth Lacovara, who leads exploratory fieldwork at the site, searches the fossil record for evidence of the mass extinction of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.
"The Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park & Museum will be a world-class destination for scientific discovery and citizen science," said Fossil Park Executive Director, Dr. Lacovara. "We are grateful to Rowan alumni Jean and Ric Edelman for making this project possible and for their deep and visionary commitment to the Rowan community."
Designed by Ennead Architects (Design Architect) and KSS Architects (Architect of Record), the Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park Museum will be New Jersey's largest Living Building Challenge (LBC) facility and largest public carbon net-zero emissions building and will prioritize the preservation of the local and global environment. Advanced building techniques and materials, including on-site renewable energy production, efficient climate control, and bird-friendly glass, will ensure the museum’s sustainability and minimize its environmental impact. The massing and orientation of the building are designed to minimize resource consumption and offer impressive views of the quarry.
“The architecture, sited in such a special place, was designed to function as a lens, bringing the quarry and exhibit experiences into a seamless context. Just as the site itself and the exhibits are windows into the earth’s past, the highly sustainable, net-zero energy building points to the earth’s future,” said Thomas J. Wong, AIA, Design Partner at Ennead Architects.
The design of the museum is carefully crafted to fit its surrounding environment and enrich the visitor experience. Indoor exhibits and outdoor experiences will complement one another to accentuate connections between elements of the Park.
“As an extension of the Rowan campus, Edelman Fossil Park will further the University’s mission to become a new model for higher education and increase its impact as an economic engine for South Jersey. We are pleased to continue our partnership with Rowan on this landmark project, which will serve an important role in educating and inspiring citizens to create a better shared future,” said Matthew McChesney, Partner at KSS Architects.
The Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park is scheduled to open to the public in 2023. You can read more about the park here.
About Gallagher & Associates
Gallagher & Associates (G&A) provides integrated strategic services to museums and other exhibits, bringing decades of experience and disruptive, creative thinking to the design process. G&A is a multidisciplinary firm that aims to deliver harmony between technology, narrative, and physical design to its projects. Learn more about G&A at gallagherdesign.com.
About Rowan University
Rowan University is a Carnegie-classified Top 100 public, national doctoral research institution dedicated to excellence in undergraduate education. The University offers bachelor’s through doctoral programs to nearly 19,000 students through its campuses in Glassboro, Camden, and Stratford, New Jersey, and online. Focused on practical research at the intersection of engineering, medicine, science, and business, Rowan has earned national recognition for innovation, commitment to high-quality, affordable education, and developing public-private partnerships. Learn more about Rowan University at rowan.edu.
About Ennead Architects
Renowned for its innovative cultural, educational, scientific, commercial, and civic building designs that authentically express the progressive missions of their institutions and enhance the vitality of the public realm, Ennead has been a leader in the design world for decades. The recipient of the prestigious Smithsonian Institution-Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, the AIANY Medal of Honor, and the National AIA Firm Award, as well as numerous design awards for individual buildings, Ennead has a body of work that is diverse in typology, scale, and location. Learn more at ennead.com.
About KSS Architects
Founded in 1983 in Princeton, N.J., KSS Architects, LLP (kssarchitects.com) is an award-winning architectural design firm that specializes in the design and planning of educational institutions, commercial and industrial buildings, and corporate interiors.
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