May 20, 2019
DeSimone Consulting Engineers, a leading engineering firm with offices worldwide, recently celebrated the completion and grand opening of the new Statue of Liberty Museum. DeSimone worked closely with FXCollaborative, the National Park Service (NPS), and the Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation (SOLEIF) to design and complete the new cultural facility located just steps away from the iconic national monument on Liberty Island.
The new 26,000-square-foot building introduces 15,000 square feet of new exhibition space, allowing the museum to better serve the estimated 4.4 million annual visitors from all around the world. The previous museum was located within the base of the monument, but was only accessible by a small fraction of the island’s visitors due to safety regulations.
With a focus on sustainability, the museum is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification and was conceived as a garden pavilion. The museum’s roof acts as a lifted extension of the surrounding park and is planted with native meadow grasses to create a natural habitat for local and migrating birds. The structure’s façade is comprised of bird-safe glass to further minimize disruption of the local environment.
“This was a remarkably complex and engaging project,” said Stephen DeSimone , President and CEO of DeSimone Consulting Engineers. “The experience and skill of our engineering team enabled us to address numerous design and construction challenges to create a dynamic new facility for this iconic national landmark.”
The island’s location required the use of a barge to deliver materials to the site. As a result, concrete shipment times increased to nearly three hours as trucks traveled from the plant to the barge, passed through security, traveled to the job site, and queued for placement. To accommodate the shipment schedule, a concrete mix utilizing a hydration-control admixture was developed to meet the unique logistical challenges of the site. To minimize cast-in-place quantities, structural details were modified to limit secondary and comeback pours and the architectural precast façade was also revised to load-bearing panels to eliminate concrete shear walls. The largest single-day pour measured approximately 400 cubic yards, which required a total of 18 concrete trucks on the barge at the same time.
“It’s been an extremely rewarding experience working on this iconic new museum,” said Jarret Johnson, a Principal at DeSimone Consulting Engineers. “We were pleased to provide creative and innovative solutions that helped enrich a treasured institution that’s enjoyed by millions of people from around the world.”