Museum of Natural History

Mexico Museum, 2019

A living museum that inspires the learning of natural history for all generations.

Three architectural firms participated in this ambitious design of this Museum: Gantous Arquitectos, Arditti + RTD, and Studiometria.
The Museum of Natural History opened on October 24, 1964. An iconic building in Mexico City that has played a historical role in the dissemination of natural sciences, to educate and invite to reflect children and adults in over five decades. The museum has excellent relevance for culture, raising awareness of society and the conservation of the biological diversity of the country and the world.
The project involved the sensitive refurbishment of the existing museum, improving access and circulation, opening the interiors to daylight and views, and establishing direct links with the Chapultepec Park, the fifth largest park in the world. The strategic masterplan was designed to meet the museum’s long-term needs. By bringing clarity to the building’s plan and arranging the exhibition by themes, the design optimizes the exhibition spaces and visitor experience. The second phase of the refurbishment was timed for 2018 concluding the project in 2021.


Create memorable, multidimensional visitor experiences that relate to multiple audiences
integrating natural and cultural history stories. Promoting visitors to reflect, learn and take action on the cultural heritage of the museum’s acquisitions.


Given the stunning backdrop of Mexico City’s Chapultepec Park, we made a conscious effort to blend the Museum into its magnificent surroundings. In contrast to the interior climate and light controlled exhibition spaces, exterior spaces, and activities meld the building into the natural landscape of the park. Within the park grounds and around the museum site, a brand new jogging and biking track not only promotes physical activity but connects the Museum to many of the park’s other cultural and leisure elements, such as the Mexico City Street Fair, and the Water Museum. To make the building a vital part of the path, we needed the structure to form part of the path, allowing park users to experience without becoming interior visitors. Providing a free access ramp for walkers and runners gives them a sneak peek of what’s on show in the lobby and treetop-level views to all of Mexico City’s valley and Historical Monuments and downtown area. We used a TALUD to connect the building and path. This created a receiving area for school children and a natural connection between the path and the rooftop view platform. As a major part of the experience, the rooftop vista gives the site context within the park, and the park within the city.


We designed the facade as an external representation of the interior content and context, forming an external skeleton with its expansive ribcage housing, the spectacular collection of fossils, and static representation of prehistoric nature.

In floating between the landscape and sky, passers-by are left with no doubt as to its purpose.

Economic consideration

Every Museum’s existence is contingent on generating revenue, in most cases from the obligatory restaurant, coffee shop, store, and library. Due to this economic imperative, we went further. We added an auditorium, a multipurpose room/temporary gallery, and designed the large entrance vestibule to serve as an event space for galas, weddings, presentations, and many other commercial uses. Design consideration was given to ensuring that event hosting could occur without disruption to the museographical tour.
In 2017 the Museum received more than 292,000 people.
Whereas in 2018, after the first stage of renovation, attended almost 380,000
An increment of 31% more yearly visitors.
Lead Architects Ricardo Umansky Arturo Arditti Jorge Arditti Claudio Gantous Christian Gantous

Facts & Figures


Natural History Museum Escrow, Mexico City



Commenced 2018
Completion expected 2023


Mexico City


10,000 m² / 108,000 ft²


Arditti + RDT Architects
Gantous Arquitectos


Architectural Design and Construction Supervision

Lead Architect

Jorge Arditti
Arturo Arditti
Ricardo Umansky
Claudio Gantous
Christian Gantous