Elevating experiences and empowering communities: our passion drives museum design innovation

Elevating experiences and empowering communities: our passion drives museum design innovation

Elevating experiences and empowering communities: our passion drives museum design innovation

Our architecture is an integrated part of the museum experience, reinforcing the stories held within its walls and heightening the visitors experience of them. Form, place, and memory. One profound journey.


At Ennead, we begin with discovery – a full immersion into a museum’s context, collections, and community – an opportunity to learn through engagement and to define experiences which can frame its architectural expression. Whether a museum for science, history or fine art, the discovery process for each project is meticulously crafted to set the stage for crafting a museum experience which can be embraced by its full community. When designing cultural building’s that process is continuous, while its tone and tenor may be set at the project’s inception, that engagement lasts through out the process as a project’s details evolve and come into focus.


Our approach to the contemporary museum is to create a landmark architecture which through its form, materiality and sequence heightens the visitors experience of the exhibits and collections. Taking inspiration from their collections, their institutional missions, or their context, we seek to define new and unique architectural identities that support our institutional clients, while at the same time positively contributing to the public realm.


A new museum is an opportunity to harness the pulse of the institutions culture, to make its dynamism even more visible, and to allow it to flourish. Ennead has a long history of designing public areas that serve as vibrant hubs for community engagement and inclusivity, nurturing connections and embracing neighboring residents.


A locally sourced and sustainable approach to a museum’s physical attributes, including materials and construction methods, can both enrich its experience and connect it to its surroundings. At every opportunity we engage local partners, fabricators, and suppliers throughout the design process to ensure these details are carefully sourced and crafted. Together, with local participation we harness architecture’s transformative power to evoke emotions, forge connections, and create a lasting sense of place for all.

Museums uniquely ignite creativity and curiosity in visitors – the magic that they create can have lasting impact on their visitors. Our approach to their design focuses heavily on museums being more human-centered.


Addressing the needs of a diverse audience is critical to the success of any cultural institution. In our work, we aspire to instill a sense of belonging to museumgoers. By engaging diverse perspectives throughout design process, the museum experience becomes more relevant to the audiences it serves. Our team has extensive experience in supporting stakeholder and community engagement.

Ennead Architects and staff from The Future Milwaukee Public Museum in conversation with the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin.
Natural History museum of Utah


The Anderson Collection, Stanford University

More diverse audiences mean that cultural spaces need to be flexible enough to accommodate the needs different groups of people. Our planning prioritizes flexibility to ensure that visitors from different backgrounds can fully engage with the museum’s offerings and support their interdisciplinary programming.

Grey Art Museum, New York University

Sustainability and Wellbeing

Designing cultural spaces is a human endeavor that extends beyond the confines of museum walls. Our goal is to create spaces that strengthen connections between the museum and its surroundings, fostering engagement, learning, and curiosity. We continue to evolve our practices as the environmental story continues to unfold before us, and we actively seek to employ new active and passive design strategies and remain at the forefront of utilizing and developing new technologies to tackle issues of the environment.

Shanghai Astronomy Museum
Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park of Rowan University

Museum Design 

We have distinguished and extensive experience designing and revitalizing a range of typologically distinct museums, galleries, and interpretive centers. Our award-winning museums and galleries are engaging and innovative facilities that embody a sense of place, welcome and embrace the public, and resonate with the spirit of inquiry and the thrill of discovery.

Natural History

Our Museums of Natural History serve as vibrant community hubs, fostering dialogue about both our past and collective futures. By presenting science within broader contexts, museums empower visitors to shape their environments and futures.

Selected Projects

Applied Life Sciences Hub
New York Blood Center



Science Centers are increasingly making scientific research accessible, sparking curiosity and deeper understanding. Our design work for these institutions supports their hands-on experiences, engaging visitors in sensory exploration and collaborative learning.

History and Culture

Museums of history and culture play a vital role in preserving and interpreting humanity’s collective memory, ensuring that future generations can learn from the past. By providing access to diverse perspectives, artifacts, and narratives, these institutions foster empathy, understanding, and appreciation for the richness and complexity of human heritage.

Visual Arts

Our museums of art are crafted to foster curiosity, civic engagement, and innovation. Our gallery designs encourage exploration and flexibility, enabling diverse activities from art viewing to live performances, ensuring each visit is immersive and memorable.

Academic Museums

Our work for academic museums of art across national institutions has given us a glimpse into the efficacy of their museum spaces to support immersive, interdisciplinary, and engaging programming. These museums and galleries create a sphere removed from the pressures of the commercial world where students, artists, curators, researchers, and faculty can experiment.

Ennead’s Museum Center Leadership

The Lab Center engages in a wide variety of issues, such as tracking current and best practice laboratory design trends, attending and speaking at national laboratory design conferences, researching lab building typology history, and attending laboratory facility tours and lectures. The Center also compiles benchmark data on our laboratory projects as well as available metrics of other major national institutions. Sustainability is also a high priority in our design of research buildings. Acknowledging that laboratories are notorious for high energy consumption, the Lab Center offers the critical knowledge on how to optimize passive architectural and active mechanical strategies to reduce energy consumption and achieve high performance, flexible, and resilient buildings for science and research. Regularly sharing these strategies and emerging trends with the offices allows us to better inform designers for current and future work as well as illustrate a range of design solutions and innovations.

Richard Olcott

Richard Olcott


Museum Practice Leader

Jarrett Pelletier

Jarrett Pelletier


Lab Practice Leader

Thought Leadership


"Princeton Employs Kit-of-Parts Approach to New Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex"

Creating the Urban Life Science Hub of the Future

Ennead’s symposium Creating the Urban Life Science Hub of the Future explored ways in which the life science industry is evolving and investigated how we can further develop this industry in the greater New York area.

Inclusive Labs

Lois Mate and Emily Kirkland presented "Inclusive Laboratories: Design and Infrastructure in Support of Research and People" as part of LabDesign's Facilities & Infrastructure webinar series

Chaitan Khosla

Ennead's client at Stanford University describes how the new interdisciplinary research complex works for the Sarafan ChEM-H and the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institutes.

Building a Life Science Core in the Big Apple

Leading up to Ennead’s Life Sciences symposium, Ennead partners Peter Schubert and Don Weinreich produced a paper, Building a Life Science Core in the Big Apple.

People Focused Labs

Todd Schliemann and Jarrett Pelletier are presented a webinar for Lab Manager on “What a People-Focused Lab Looks Like.”