Completed in 1976, the National Air and Space Museum building on the National Mall is clad with large panels of pink Tennessee marble, the same material used on the facade of the nearby National Gallery of Art. Recladding the entire building envelope is one component of a comprehensive revitalization that will be phased so that the museum can remain open during construction.
Silman’s initial facade work included extensive surveying and material testing. The firm’s engineers then developed a basis of design for the replacement dimensional stone veneers, which will seek to emulate the existing facade in appearance while providing considerable envelope performance upgrades.
Silman is also providing structural engineering services for wind, seismic, and blast building frame upgrades; alterations to facilitate interior renovations; reinforcements to support the additional loads created by new MEP/FP systems; and new entrance vestibules to protect queuing visitors from the elements. Prior to this project, Silman’s work at the museum included minor renovation services, conditions assessments, perimeter security upgrades, and facade investigations.