Foundation for Success
The American Folk Art Museum, constructed by our firm, is a 30,000sf, eight-level building with two levels below grade and six levels above grade. The unique and challenging nature of the museum became apparent before the building ever rose from the ground. Adjacent to the museum, the subway tunnel and subway ventilation room beneath 53rd Street demanded a variety of accommodations. Heavily loaded adjacent footings could not bear on the sub-grade rock within the influence line of the subway tunnels. To bypass this problem, a cantilevered foundation bearing on steel-encased caissons was utilized. The caissons are located seven feet north of the subway tunnel and are embedded into the rock beneath the influence lines.
The Face of Change
The bronze facade of the American Folk Art Museum makes a strong but subtle statement of independence from the Museum of Modern Art. The fašade is sculptural in form and folded into faceted planes of bronze and glass. The three major planes of the fašade are composed of white-bronze panels that were “spill-cast” against the foundry’s concrete floor.
Spill casting produces panels with a mottled surface and exposed cold seams, but also panels that are inconsistent and that defy specification. Representative test panels were cast and tested to produce design parameters that were then applied to the fašade. Ultimately, the panels were welded onto steel frames to provide additional stiffness and connection points.
|Best New Building in the World|
Best Public/Cultural Building in the World
Best North American Building
World Architecture Magazine
Best New Building in the World
Arup World Architecture
Brendan Gill Prize
Municipal Art Society New York City
Architecture Design Award
American Institute of Architect