Dinosaurs & Mass Timber:
What’s the Connection?

The Story of the Edelman Fossil Park & Museum

Dinosaurs & Mass Timber: What’s the Connection?

The Edelman Fossil Park & Museum at Rowan University, is a hybrid structure with beautiful applications of exposed GLT and glulam. Why was mass timber used and what is the connection with dinosaurs?

Ken Lacovara explains that dinosaurs are a key to studying the future of climate change: Their fossil records provide us with a history of the planet as it dealt with various environmental tipping points. “As we move into an uncertain environmental future, it has never been more important to understand the past.” By bridging the ancient past with modern sustainable practices, Lacovara highlights how understanding the history of life on Earth can inform smarter, more sustainable choices today, particularly in how we build. The principal museum architects, Thomas Wong and Andrew Sniderman take it from there to explain how their architectural design integrates and reflects these themes and offers a holistic view of our past, present and future.

Dr. Kenneth Lacovara

Dr. Kenneth Lacovara

Professor of Paleontology & Geology
Founding Director of the Edelman Fossil Park

Ken Lacovara has unearthed some of the largest dinosaurs ever to walk the earth, including the massive 65-ton Dreadnoughtus, which he named and which appeared in the film Jurassic World: Dominion. He is a recipient of The Explorers Club Medal, the highest honor in exploration, previously awarded to pioneers such as Sir Edmund Hillary, Jane Goodall, and Neil Armstrong. His TED talk has been viewed by over five million people, and his book, Why Dinosaurs Matter, published by Simon & Schuster, is a winner of the Nautilus Book Prize. He has appeared in over 20 television documentaries. He is founding former dean of the School of Earth & Environment at Rowan University, and is the founding executive director of the Edelman Fossil Park & Museum.

Thomas Wong, Ennead Architects

Thomas Wong

Design Partner
Ennead Architects

Thomas Wong is a Design Partner in Ennead Architects, where he has worked for over 30 years. Thomas has provided insightful design leadership on a broad range of building and program typologies, from museums to academic buildings and inpatient hospitals. The projects he has designed span multiple geographic regions, from Asia and the Middle East to cities across the United States. The diversity of typologies and contexts in which he designs speak to the range of his design approach: Thomas treats each design problem as a unique set of opportunities and issues that lead to a distinct, specific, and authentic solution. His projects have received global recognition and multiple design awards. Thomas received both a Master of Architecture degree and a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University College of Architecture, Art and Planning.

Andrew Sniderman, KSS Architects

Andrew Sniderman

Senior Associate & Creative Team Leader
KSS Architects

Andy Sniderman is a Senior Associate and Creative Team Leader at KSS Architects. He has diverse responsibilities and leadership roles across a wide variety of complex, culturally significant, and award-winning architectural projects for institutional, academic, and development clients. As a project architect and project manager, Andy leads the collaboration with teams of architects, consultants, and clients from concept design through construction administration completing projects under tight schedules with an attention to detail. His dedication, enthusiasm, and creativity has made him a valuable team member and a collaborative leader on projects ranging from a landmark courthouse restoration to a new concert hall design to a multi-modal urban logistics hub to the management of a new museum for dinosaurs designed to achieve net zero energy.