Guggenheim spruces up restoration with custom bridge

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Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 1:28 pm
Location: Missouri

Guggenheim spruces up restoration with custom bridge

Post by hypnoraygun »

Source: Architectural Record; Feb2006, Vol. 194 Issue 2, p34-34, 1/3p, 1c

The low-hanging, blue-painted plywood pedestrian bridges that accompany construction projects and building renovations in New York are one of the banes of the city's streetscape. The structures often obscure entrances, create the illusion that businesses beneath them are closed, and cast ominous shadows onto passageways.

To help avoid such a situation, when Guggenheim Museum officials recently embarked on a complicated restoration of their famous Frank Lloyd Wright building, they had their pedestrian bridge custom-designed. The typical bridge comes in two code-mandated heights, either 8 feet or 16 feet above the sidewalk. The Guggenheim's pedestrian bridge looms 20 feet above, so the building's entrance is not obscured. The supports for the bridge are cut from I-beams, instead of the usual modular pipes, and don't require wooden shims or metal cross braces. And instead of being painted the typical blue, the 12-foot-high plywood fascia of the Guggenheim's pedestrian bridge actually serves as a slick billboard. A red vinyl graphic of the museum's name is applied onto panels that are a light beige color. "When people come to see the building, they are coming for the aesthetic experience, so it would have been discordant if the first thing they saw was ugly scaffolding," says Guggenheim spokesman Anthony Calnek.

The restoration of the Guggenheim (by a team headed by preservation architect Wank Adams Slavin Associates) is being performed to fix cracking in its concrete structure, which has occurred because it was constructed without expansion joints. The Guggenheim was one of the first buildings to use an acrylic-based paint on its exterior when it was built in 1959. According to Calnek, "It was mistakenly thought that the paint would act as a 'cocoon' around the concrete--that it would expand and contract along with the building, and that would compensate for the lack of expansion joints."

The building's exterior has now been stripped of its white paint, and its bare Gunite walls are visible for the first time since it was built. The project is still in a diagnostic phase. The actual restoration work, which involves plugging the cracks, is expected to begin this summer and will last about a year.

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Paint Guggenheim's rehab ready to start

Post by therman7g »

Restoration work on the Guggenheim Museum could begin by the end of the year now that it'sclear the famous Frank Lloyd Wright building doesn't need "major surgery," it was reported.

The $28 million restoration of the upper East Side landmark will include fixing exterior cracks and replacing all windows and skylights, Crain's New York Business reports in today's edition. ... 3310c.html

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