ICRI 2008 Project Award Winner
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Award of Merit: Historic Category

Concrete Strengthening Techniques Crucial to the Guggenheim Restoration
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New York, New York

Submitted by Structural Preservation Systems


Guggenheim Museum

Owner
Guggenheim Museum
New York, New York

Project Engineer/
Designer

Robert Silman Associates
New York, New York

General Contractor
F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc. 
New York, New York

Repair Contractor
Structural Preservation Systems
Floral Park, New York

Material Suppliers/
Manufacturers

VSL
Springfield, Virginia

MAPEI Corporation
Deerfield Beach, Florida

One of the premiere destinations in New York City is the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum located in Manhattan. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Guggenheim opened in 1959. The distinctive reinforced concrete (RC) ring walls and their supporting web walls were designed to function as exterior walls that would display artwork on the interior face. Visitors start on the ramp at the top of the building and descend around the multi-level spiraling ramp. In 2004, a comprehensive investigation was prompted by signs of distress. It was not known if the cracking was related to structural issues or possible corrosion of the reinforcement. As such, the Museum’s management team embarked on a comprehensive investigation and assessment of the facility.

To preserve the exact appearance of the exterior form line texture, it was deter­mined that all repair strategies would need to be performed to the interior side of the w­all. Conventional options such as concrete section enlargement and external post-tensioning were considered but discounted. Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) and carbon FRP (CFRP) sheets were the final choice of the team. The Museum remained open during the entire repair.

To preserve the exact appearance of the exterior form line texture, it was deter­mined that all repair strategies would need to be performed to the interior side of the w­all. Conventional options such as concrete section enlargement and external post-tensioning were considered but discounted. Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) and carbon FRP (CFRP) sheets were the final choice of the team. The Museum remained open during the entire repair.

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