National Museum of Natural History (Manila)

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National Museum of Natural History
National Museum of National History (Manila) in 2019.jpg
National Museum of Natural History facade in 2019
Coordinates14°34′59.9″N 120°58′55.9″E / 14.583306°N 120.982194°E / 14.583306; 120.982194
TypeNatural history museum
Public transit accessMetro interchange ManilaLine1Logo.svg United Nations
Bus interchange  6  17  United Nations Avenue
National Museum of the Philippines
Building details
Former names
  • Agriculture and Commerce Building
  • Department of Tourism Building
General information
Architectural styleNeoclassical
LocationRizal Park, Ermita
AddressT.M. Kalaw Street
corner General Luna Street
Town or cityManila
Renovation cost1 billion
Technical details
Floor count6
Design and construction
Architect(s)Antonio Toledo
Renovating team
Renovating firmDominic Galicia Architects
Other designersTina Periquet (Interior design)

The National Museum of Natural History (Filipino: Pambansang Museo ng Likas na Kasaysayan) is the national natural history museum of the Philippines. It is located along Agrifina Circle in Rizal Park, Manila.[1]


Agriculture and Commerce Building[edit]

The building was constructed as the Agriculture and Commerce Building in 1940. It was designed in a neoclassical style by Filipino Architect Antonio Toledo in the late 1930s, having the same dimensions and floor plan as its twin building located at the northern side of the circle, the Finance Building. Both buildings were destroyed in the Battle of Manila during World War II. Both buildings were reconstructed according to the original plans after the war.[2]

Department of Tourism[edit]

The building when it was still occupied by the Department of Tourism.

At some point in time, the building was occupied by the Department of Tourism (DOT), hence the building became known as the Department of Tourism Building up until 2015. DOT moved its offices to the nearby city of Makati and is planning to return to Manila after the completion of its proposed headquarters located in Intramuros.

National Museum of Natural History[edit]

The dome of the building as seen near Agrifina Circle in Rizal Park.

The National Museum Act, which was passed in 1998,[3] mandates the conversion of three civic buildings within Rizal Park, the Legislative Building, the Finance Building, and the Tourism Building, into museums. The Finance Building was the first to be repurposed. In 1998, the building was converted into the National Museum of Anthropology. The Legislative Building was converted into the National Museum of Fine Arts in 2000.[4] The Tourism Building would later become the National Museum of Natural History.

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 dome supported by a double helix structure inspired by 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.[5][6]

A bidding for prospective contractors for the renovation of the building was done in September 2015.[7]

The National Museum of Natural History was officially inaugurated on September 30, 2017.[4] A grand opening for the museum was expected in the later quarter of 2017.[8] The museum opened on May 18, 2018.



  1. ^ Villalon, A. (30 January 2017). "At long last, Manila now has a museum precinct/complex". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  2. ^ "The American Colonial and Contemporary Traditions" (PDF). National Library of the Philippines. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 May 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  3. ^ "National Museum Act of 1998". National Museum of the Philippines. 7 February 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b del Rosario, Ramon Jr. (30 September 2017). "Remarkable gift from government and business". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  5. ^ Villalon, Augusto (21 January 2013). "DOT building to be transformed into Museum of Natural History". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  6. ^ "P1-B Museum of Natural History up by 2015 to house PH's richly diverse flora, fauna". Manila Economic and Cultural Office. Philippine Daily Inquirer. 29 July 2013. Archived from the original on 18 September 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  7. ^ "Contractors invited to turn old tourism office into museum". BusinessWorld. 13 August 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  8. ^ Carlos, Lawrence (1 October 2017). "The National Museum of Natural History Inauguration". Retrieved 4 October 2017.