Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

New York, New York

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is an iconic cultural institution and vital component of New York city’s tourist and educational landscape. Located on Pier 86, the museum campus includes a visitor’s center, the cold war missile submarine SSG Growler, a British Airways Concorde jet, and a collection of over 20 historic military aircraft (including an A-12 Blackbird spy plane) displayed on the flight and hangar decks of the aircraft carrier, USS Intrepid.

Our design established a new spatial organization that improved visitor flow and content comprehension. A dynamic modular framework supports the flexible artifact installation, improves lighting, enhances video projection, and integrates new interactive technologies. This experiential system’s aesthetic is sympathetic to the ship’s environment while respecting the USS Intrepid’s National Historic Landmark status.

Working with the museum’s curatorial department, we conducted a thorough assessment of existing artifacts, content, circulation, and audience types. We analyzed educational, special events, and fundraising/donor programs. This process informed the visitor experience and the experimental modular framework that supports the exhibits.

The renovation of the interior of Intrepid’s hangar deck—the primary exhibit space—included development of a new exhibit and display system standard to be implemented across the entire museum campus.
The visitor experience strategy is based on the juxtaposition of the technical “machine” aspects of the ship and artifacts, against the emotive “human stories” of the ship’s crew, traditions, and historic eras

Project Team

Eileen Jones
Ralph Johnson
Ron Stelmarski
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