Page N2.1 . 23 September 2009                     
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People and Places
                                                    . . . THIS WEEK

The Darwin Centre's second phase, designed by C.F. Møller Architects, has opened at the Natural History Museum in London. Photo: Torben Eskerod Extra Large Image

New York · 2009.0922
The new home of the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) has opened in New York City. Maya Lin designed the 14,000-square-foot (1,300-square-meter) project, which renovated a former machine shop to include multiple exhibition galleries, interactive display kiosks, a multipurpose auditorium and classroom, a research center, and a flexible space for public programs. LEED Silver certification is expected.

At the heart of the museum is a historic skylit courtyard, left deliberately raw and untouched, that evokes the sense of a traditional Chinese courtyard house. The core exhibit wraps around this courtyard, and short biographic films telling the stories of Chinese Americans are projected onto the glass windows facing the courtyard.

Leuven · 2009.0920
The new Museum Leuven, or "M," has opened in Leuven, Belgium. Architect Stéphane Beel of Ghent, Belgium, designed the 13,500-square-meter (145,000-square-foot) project, which integrates the former Vander Kelen house, the former university college of St. Ivo, and two new additions. The museum includes exhibition spaces for a variety of artwork, as well as a cafe, bookstore, courtyard, children's workshop, and auditorium.

London · 2009.0914
The new Darwin Centre (pictured above) has opened at the Natural History Museum in London, United Kingdom. The second phase of the center, designed by C.F. Møller Architects, based in Aarhus, Denmark, completes the western site of the Natural History Museum, uniting Alfred Waterhouse's terra-cotta construction from 1881 with the first phase of the Darwin Centre, which opened in 2002. The Natural History Museum houses scientific research facilities and millions of specimens, and is also a top UK visitor attraction.

The £78 million second phase of the Darwin Centre takes the form of a huge eight-story concrete cocoon surrounded by a glass atrium. Public access to the scientific core of the second phase takes the form of a visitor route up and through the cocoon, overlooking the science and collection areas. The 16,000-square-meter (172,000-square-foot) second phase includes 1,040 square meters (11,200 square feet) of laboratory space.

New York · 2009.0913
The new Jacob and Dreizel Glueck Center for Jewish Study has opened at Yeshiva University in New York City. Designed by the New York office of HOK, the center's six floors and lower-level archives include a two-story, 500-seat Beit Midrash (Torah study hall), lecture halls, classrooms, faculty and student lounges, 50 faculty and administrative offices, a patio, and gardens. The facade includes channel glass, recessed sidelights, and Vetter stone, and was designed to maximize daylighting in the Beit Midrash. Located on the university's Wilf Campus in Washington Heights, the new center is linked to an adjacent library via a ground-floor atrium.

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