Fernbank Museum

A building that fits in with its neighbors.

The Fernbank Museum of Natural History is one of the largest natural history museums south of the Smithsonian. In order to reduce the scale of the museum so that it wouldn't be visually obtrusive to its neighbors, GUND pushed the building deep onto the site and designed a one-story entrance viewable from the street. At the back of the museum it's full height is one display. A terrace, cafe, and a public atrium look onto the landscape beyond, creating dramatic views of the adjacent wooded ravine.

0241 001

The many sides of design.

GUND helped to re-establish a strong image for the institution which is located prominently just outside Atlanta, Georgia. Our design solution reflects the civic architecture indigenous to the South, with three very different elevations which relate to the diverse edge conditions of the site. Approached from a long, processional drive, the entrance elevation has a more formal, symmetrical facade. The north elevation responds to the free form of the adjacent forest and features a distinctly different, more irregular elevation. The south elevation is broken down into the scale of neighboring residential buildings across an open space.


Dynamic interior spaces.

The museum is characterized by dynamic interior spaces that support its educational mission. Visitors enter a large lobby that brings clarity to the journey through the exhibits. A three-story skylit atrium serves as a Great Hall and doubles as event space. Inside this massive space is the world’s first fully mounted Argentinosaurus, the largest dinosaur ever classified. It weighs in at 100 tons and is 123 feet long.

0242 001

Let's aim for



Do you have an upcoming project that you'd like to discuss?

274 Graham Gund Partners 2018 04 10 Gene 82 U8