The Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo courtesy Saccarte / Wikimedia.

The Speed Art Museum



Originally designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted, The Speed Art Museum is the oldest and largest museum of its kind in Kentucky. Since opening in 1927, the facility has undergone four addition and renovation projects. Thornton Tomasetti provided structural design and façade consulting services for the latest phased expansion and renovation project.

Phase I – Expansion and Historic Renovations
Phase I of the project included expansion of the South Building and renovation work to multiple historic buildings. For this phase, Thornton Tomasetti provided services through 100% design development and then transitioned to a local design team.

Phase II – Connecting the Future to the Past
Phase II consisted of the new three-story, 62,500-square-foot, transparent glass-clad North Building, that connects to the original 1927 structure. The facility provides a large exhibition space, contemporary art galleries, a family education welcome center, an indoor / outdoor café, a museum shop, and a performance pavilion. The floor and roof structure are steel construction, with composite concrete floor decks at the floor level. The second and third levels cantilever 24 inches from the floor below. To minimize weight, the roof consists of a bare metal deck without concrete.

Our façade consultants provided technical advice to the architect on elements of the North Building’s façade design, engineering, and detailing during the design development and construction documents phases. Services included assisting the architect with selecting exterior materials, developing façade system and interface details, and reviewing the architect’s façade system drawings and specifications.

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