Skip Main Links
A dinosaur skeleton in an exhibition hall with people walking and viewing the exhibit in the large space with white walls, light tile flooring
Cleveland Museum of Natural History Transformation

Inspired by the Water that Shapes Our World

Project Location

Cleveland, OH


Cleveland Museum of Natural History


182,000 SF

Project Type


The Cleveland Museum of Natural History has been a pillar of science, education, research, conservation, and community engagement since 1920. Supporting the museum’s goal to address the impacts of humans on our natural world, our design of several phases of renovation and an iconic addition transforms the facility into an actively sustainable building.

New, renovated, and reorganized exhibit spaces expand programming and improve visitor circulation with connections to nature to enhance the outdoor experience. The design re-imagines the presentation of world-renowned collections and labs by relocating these previously behind-the-scenes spaces alongside exhibits, giving visitors a glimpse into the inner workings of science research. Inspired by the institution’s commitment to sustainability and its relationship with surrounding bodies of water and the glaciers that formed the region’s geology, alluvial shapes define and create a single and continuous form that unifies current and previous additions. We are providing architecture; interiors; electrical, mechanical, and structural engineering; acoustics; audiovisual; information transport; life safety & security; lighting; and theater technical design services.

Featured Video
From the Waters of the Great Lakes

The museum’s open and interactive design allows users to learn about the history of natural sciences as they move throughout the space.


Elevating Design

CEO and Managing Principal Steven McKay, AIA, RIBA


CEO Steven McKay Shares a Passion for Design with designboom

This exclusive interview reveals McKay’s commitment to employee-ownership, the thrill of the design challenge, and the future of our firm. In the interview, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History is shared as an example of how we are leading with design.

Read More

In the Media

cropped image of museum entry showing flowing lines and textures of white roof with large metal sculpture surrounded by trees


Design for Natural History Museum Evokes Waters of Great Lakes

The glacier that carved the Cuyahoga Valley melted about 10,000 years ago. But it’s returning, at least in fragmentary form, in a new vision for the renovation and expansion of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

Read More

single story building with curving roof viewed from the street with people walking past and cyclists in road

The Architect's Newspaper

The $150 Million Museum Expansion is Closer to Completion

December 18, 2019

The multiphase project was initiated over ten years ago and includes several phases of renovations, as well as a 50,000-SF addition for education and exhibition spaces. The new changes are expected to improve circulation, expand programming, and provide connections to the surrounding natural landscape.

Contact Us

Contact Us

  • Ready for the latest updates, delivered right to your inbox? By checking Subscribe, you agree to receive DLR Group’s weekly newsletter.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.