Wednesday, December 21, 2011
The National Gallery of Art has a new exhibit: its exterior. The 33-year-old East Building is in the midst of a major renovation that recently included the removal and reinstallation of the marble veneer - 16,200 Tennessee pink marble panels with new supports. Each five foot wide, two foot high, three-inch-thick panel weighs about 450 pounds. The I.M. Pei design, completed in 1978, is not holding up nearly as well as the John Russell Pope design of the West Building. A "systemic structural failure" of the facade's design prompted Congressional emergency aid (too big to fail?) and scaffolding to protect pedestrians. On the upside, DC is treated to an architectural undressing thanks in part to an open, vertical-access scaffolding system. Work is expected to be completed by spring 2014.
Photographs by Rey Lopez. Washington D.C. real estate development news