The building now occupied by the museum was built as the Agriculture and Commerce Building in 1940. The neoclassical building and was designed by Filipino architect, Antonio Toledo in the late 1930s. The Agriculture and Commerce Building was left in ruins following the aftermath of the Liberation of Manila during the World War II but was later reconstructed according to the original plans after the war.
At some point in time, the building was occupied by the Department of Tourism, hence the building became known as the Department of Tourism Building.
In 2013, preparations were commenced to have the building host the National Museum of Natural History. The National Museum of the Philippines invited five architects to submit proposals for the retrofitting and chose the design of the team from Dominic Galicia Architects and interior designer Tina Periquet. Galicia’s design involved the maintenance of the building’s facade except for the addition of a glass domed supported by a double helix structure which was inspired from DNA. The dome and supporting structure was dubbed as the “Tree of Life” and will cover the courtyard of the six-storey building. The project, estimated to cost around ₱1 billion, was initially scheduled to be completed in 2015 in time for the 2015 APEC Summit.
A bidding for prospect contractors for the renovation of the building was done in September 2015.
The National Museum of Natural History was officially inaugurated on September 30, 2017. A grand opening for the museum was expected in the later quarter of 2017. Target opening date tentatively set for May 18, 2018.
Location: Teodoro F. Valencia Circle, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila
Hours: Monday Closed
Pictures from Museum below:
Watch Highlights below: