We are proud of our ongoing relationship with the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA). Over the years LF Driscoll’s work for the museum has included scales both highly visible and highly specific.
Beneath a hill adjacent to the Main Building now lies a 4-level, 442-space concrete parking garage. The only visible portion of the garage is a glass pavilion that protrudes delicately on the parking structure’s 26,000 sf green roof and allows access to the garage below. The green roof features a sculpture garden, walking paths, a fountain, and a granite plaza.
Before construction began, our team excavated 60-80 feet of earth containing thousands of boulders weighing four to seven tons each. The boulders filled 500 dump trucks and were donated to Fairmount Park Association, and were used to reinforce and support running banks and river paths throughout the park system. Before construction on the garage began, extensive structural repair work to the 13’ 6” diameter combination sanitary/sewer tunnel was completed. Our team performed an epoxy skim coating process on the tunnel, which sealed the various voids and cracks in the concrete and Belgian block joints beneath the future parking garage, preventing leaks that could have undermined the garage footings.
Given its location, the appearance of the construction site was important so our team used a more aesthetically pleasing yet elaborate sheeting and shoring shockcrete system and Mechanically Stabilized Earthwork (MSE) to stabilize and support the main PMA building and Art Museum Drive during construction. Existing outdoor sculptures and trees were protected during construction.
The garage was constructed with poured-in-place concrete that would remain exposed in the finished garage. As such, our team used PVC-coated plywood for the pour, which resulted in a smoother finish that resembles prefabricated concrete slabs. A fountain in the sculpture garden on top of the garage uses water that is recaptured, filtered and chlorinated in the garage’s basement.
The garage’s location necessitated careful coordination with PMA and other entities including the City of Philadelphia, which previously set off its annual fireworks display from the site and required a new location adjacent to the construction zone, and the Philadelphia International Biking Championship, the route of which circled the site ten times.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA
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