The museum uses composite steel framing with concrete on metal deck slabs. Silman used steel to achieve the design’s long spans and open plan galleries. The galleries and open offices left limited locations for the lateral braced frames, introducing discontinuities in the load path such that most elements in the building were designed for overstrength.
The museum’s upper stories transfer at the column-free fifth-floor gallery, which cantilevers in two directions over the lower four floors. To achieve these 25- to 80-foot-long cantilevers, Silman used a full-story truss that spans along the south side of the gallery and is supported from perpendicularly spanning two-story trusses.