New building, new discoveries

Coming in summer 2018 to the St. Paul campus, the new Bell Museum brings together science, art, and the environment with a unique Minnesota perspective. Our new home features a digital planetarium, high-tech exhibits, our famous wildlife dioramas, outdoor learning experiences and more.

The new facility is expected to triple the number of annual visitors to 105,000—and we hope you’re one of them. If you love to explore and discover, you’ll love the Bell Museum more than ever before!


Our state-of-the-art planetarium takes you on amazing journeys from the far reaches of the cosmos to deep inside the human brain. Using the latest technology to construct a "seamless" dome, our planetarium will be the first of its kind in the United States!

Exhibit Galleries

The permanent galleries—which include our world renowned wildlife dioramas—span space and time, from the origins of the universe, through the diversification of life on Earth, to Minnesota's own unique habitats. Also, learn about U of M researchers who are working to create a better future for our evolving world.

Touch & See Lab

The Bell Museum created the first natural history museum discovery room in the world, and we are proud to carry that tradition on in the new Touch & See Lab where all ages can actively learn through observation and sensory engagement.

Outdoor Learning

The learning continues outside with a second floor green roof and observation deck, and sustainable landscaping with native plants, geology exploration area, solar station, and other highlights on the ground floor.

Project Details

Groundbreaking: Earth Day, April 22, 2016
Construction Complete: Summer 2017
Exhibit Installation: Summer 2017-Summer 2018
New Building Open: Summer 2018

Project Budget: $64.225M (appx)
Architect: Perkins + Will, Minneapolis
Construction: McGough, Minneapolis
Exhibit Designers: Gallagher & Associates, Maryland

Support the new Bell

Every gift makes a difference. Help us build a new, world-class museum by contributing to enhanced exhibits and visitor experiences.

Learn how to support the new Bell Museum + Planetarium or contact Laura Vitko (612-624-0089, for more information.

Project updates

Capital Planning and Project Management is leading the development of the new Bell Museum. Work is currently underway on the building’s exterior and interior, including the planetarium, galleries, classrooms and meeting rooms.

Want the latest on construction?

Email to subscribe to bi-weekly email updates. Check out the construction site web camera; click the “Time-Lapse Movie” button in the lower left corner of the screen.

Members of the media:
Contact Andria Waclawski (612-624-7389, with questions and interview requests.