4287

National Children's Museum, Phase One in National Harbor, Maryland. Courtesy National Children's Museum/Pelli Clarke Pelli (left).

National Children’s Museum, Phase One

  • COMPLETION DATE
    2013

Overview

Thornton Tomasetti performed structural services for a museum designed to educate children and families about the environment, civic engagement, the arts, health and well-being, play and world cultures. The facility, which is being developed in two phases, will consist of multiple connected pavilions of differing shapes, sizes and materials, grouped around a central courtyard. Phase One consists of a glass-enclosed arrival pavilion, two three-story exhibit pavilions and a 180-foot-tall concrete and steel wind turbine tower. The museum is being designed to meet criteria for LEED Gold certification.

Each of the steel-framed exhibit pavilions presented interesting design challenges. Structural members were routed around the long “ribbon windows” that are a critical architectural element of two sections of the building. Pavilion C’s “tilted-cube” form requires the façade framing to be cantilevered off the building superstructure using hollow structural shapes. Pavilion B will be shaded by an undulating screen of greenery. Our engineers worked closely with a living wall consultant to design and coordinate hidden connections between the building structure and the steel framework that supports planters and vines.

Thornton Tomasetti also provided curtain wall consulting for Pavilion A, a glass-enclosed arrival area.

Our 3D modeling capabilities were instrumental in defining the atypical geometries of the pavilions and tower, streamlining the complex structural design to support our clients’ aesthetic goals.

Read More

Related Projects

Façade Materials & Systems

Curtain Wall

Our façade engineering teams advise clients on the best way to develop both conventional and innovative façade systems, applying our knowledge of structures, glazing technology, mechanical shade systems and thermal behavior. We provide design, detailing and engineering support for enclosures of any shape or size, from minimalist to high-tech. We also provide expertise in safety and security glazing, along with glass frits and reflective coatings.

Façade Materials & Systems

Glazing & Structural Glass

Glazing offers transparency that enhances a façade’s aesthetics and experience from both the interior and exterior. It provides light and a visual connection between the inside and outside. But designing with glass requires the deliberate balancing of light transmittance and the effects it has on energy performance and occupant comfort. Glazing design also requires careful consideration of material strength and safety. We provide a full range of design and engineering support for glazing and glass structures, from structural analyses to recommendations for aesthetics and energy performance. Our expertise in glazed-façade and structural-glass construction includes unitized aluminum frames, stick-built metal frames, steel cable supports, structural glass fin supports and glass stairs and balustrades.