According to a recent article by Dezeen Magazine, the renovation of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), which was made with FRP, is almost done. The building is scheduled to re-open on May 14, 2016.
Kreysler & Associates designed the eastern façade of the building’s 700 “rain screen” FRP panels. The panels cover and help waterproof the 10-story building. When fastened to the aluminum frame, the panels create a rippling horizontal texture that looks like the waters of the San Francisco Bay. According to Bill Kreysler, president of Kreysler & Associates Inc., the SFMOMA expansion is the largest use of FRP cladding on a multistory building in North America.
The panels are made from recyclable expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam molds that are milled by a CNC hotwire machine for rough shape and by a five-axis CNC router to create the final double-curved surface. No two panels are alike: most are 5½ feet wide with lengths varying from 6 to 30 feet. The skin thickness is only 3/16th of an inch: “Every panel had to be designed and engineered individually to make sure it fit properly onto the aluminum frame behind it,” Kreysler said to Composites Manufacturing last year.
Kreysler & Associates teamed with Snøhetta during the research and development phase of the project to explore different techniques, textures and finishes. By using FRP, Snøhetta could maximize the span without using additional steel. Also, the rippling of the panels helps stabilize them and significantly reduces the need for reinforcing the metal support frame.
Once complete, the 10-story, 235,000-square-foot addition will offer nearly three times the previous exhibition space. It will debut the new Pritzker Center for Photography—the nation’s largest gallery, research, and interpretative space for photography in any art museum—and feature 260 works from the renowned Fisher Collection and 600 more artworks not seen before at SFMOMA.