Hard Hat Tour of Hirshhorn Museum Envelope Project

  • Saturday, April 30, 2022
  • 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Independence Ave and 7th St SW, Washington, DC 20560
  • 0


Registration is closed

Join us for a hard hat tour of the ongoing façade rehabilitation project at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden! This event is co-hosted by APT DC and Docomomo DC.

Designed by SOM architect Gordon Bunshaft and opened to the public in 1974, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is one of the most iconic Brutalist structures in the United States. The building is currently undergoing a comprehensive envelope repair, focused on the replacement and upgrade of the precast, exposed aggregate concrete panels that line the building's iconic cylindrical drum. Following an extensive envelope study, the precast panel façade is being replaced to address life safety concerns of falling panels and a need to insulate the façade for energy efficiency. 

The construction watch tour will be led by representatives of Smithsonian Facilities, CRTKL, and Grunley Construction.  

Attendees will learn:

  1. Process for analyzing existing precast concrete panels for cracks, spalls, exposed reinforcement and efflorescence that could lead to structural failure.
  2. Process for analyzing existing pre-cast concrete ferrous anchors to determine probability of failure that would result in falling panels.  
  3. Methods for installing new exterior insulation and waterproofing in a historic pre-cast concrete façade to meet current energy code requirements.
  4. Process for matching appearance of historic pre-cast concrete by sourcing aggregate that matches the original aggregate.

The tour will also include an overview of the proposed Sculpture Garden revitalization.

Please note:

  1. Members and guests of both APT DC and Docomomo DC are welcome and encouraged to attend. Capacity is very limited for this event and we anticipate there will be a waitlist. If you find you cannot attend, please cancel your registration using the instructions in your confirmation email. 
  2. This event will include access to the scaffolded construction site. For this reason, PPE is required (to include, hard hats, safety vests and glasses, and appropriate clothing and footwear). Attendees should plan to provide their own PPE; a very limited number will be available to borrow onsite.
  3. We are please to offer 1.0 AIA HSW continuing education credit for this event. If you wish to receive the credit, please include your AIA number at time of registration.
  4. In the event of rain or other inclement weather, we will attempt to reschedule this event for a later date.

Photo credit: Tony Powell, Metropolis

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