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Museums, Libraries and Cultural Centers

Project Focus: Museums

By Krista Hovis, Managing Editor

Metal construction products reflect the contents of museums in both beauty and creativity. It’s also a material that has been proven to be durable and will stand the test of time. In addition, there is nothing better than metal to protect the precious items in these types of buildings.

Titanic Museum (photos by Ivan Burgand)

Branson, MO, may seem like an odd place for a museum such as this, but that is where the 17,000 sq. ft. half-ship/half-building is located. It consists of a freestanding 90’ x 190’ metal building shell from Robertson Building Systems over an existing 70’ x 125’ structure that houses the displays. The 15’ gap between the two runs along one side and provides room for offices, storage and mechanicals. Robertson also provided rigid structural framing based on 25’ bays to keep deflection within 1-1/4”, standing seam roofing and metal wall panels. To create the hull and iceberg, a 1-1/2”-thick polymer-modified cementious mix was spray applied over a base of structural steel, wire mesh, a geotextile-like fabric and steel lathe.

The half-scale replica has over 20 galleries with 400 artifacts carried off by the Titanic survivors or salvaged during the rescue and retrieval effort directly after the sinking. None came from wreckage on the ocean floor. Many portions of the original ship were replicated in the museum. At the beginning of the self-guided walkthrough tour, visitors are given a ticket with a real passenger’s name. The fate of that passenger is discovered at the end of the tour.

Frank Turner Construction of Branson was the general contractor. The Robertson builder was Steelcon Group Ltd. Idletime Network and Marshall Waters Woody Architects, Springfield, MO, were the designers.

The Danish Immigrant Museum

Decra Tile roofing from Decra Roofing Systems was applied over existing three-tab shingles on the 50,000 sq. ft. facility in Elk Horn, IA. Use of the metal tile roofing, which transformed the look of the building, was approved in Denmark. The project was started in June 2005 and finished the following month. Walvatne Building & Construction, Sumner, IA, was the roofing contractor.

Old Cowtown Museum

The 8,000 sq. ft. museum and visitor center in Wichita, KS, was topped with 9,700 sq. ft. of MBCI’s LokSeam standing seam panels. Formed from 24-gauge Galvalume Plus steel, the 18” panels have a vertical leg and a 1-3/4” x 3/8” snap-together batten. This building serves as a general information area, cafeteria and souvenir shop for the complex. Law Kingdon Inc. of Wichita designed it to reflect the Old West buildings of the 1800s.

The project was started in August 2005 and completed in March 2006. Wichita-based National Builders was the general contractor. P.C. Steel Buildings, Stillwater, OK, installed the metal roofing.

Cold War Museum (photo by Defence College Of Aeronautical Engineering)

To create the curvilinear structure located on the RAF (Royal Air Force) Cosford base in Shropshire, England, designer Feilden Clegg Bradley needed a flexible roofing material. The design consists of two opposing triangular structures connecting to form a 443’ axis along the length of the building. Over 107,000 sq. ft. of Kalzip standing seam roofing from Corus Building Systems covers the complex roof plane. England-based WWR (UK) Ltd. also installed the 65/400 aluminum panels on the walls, with the panels twisting from the vertical spine wall to 30 degree angles at opposite ends of the building.

Metal roofing was an integral part of the building’s overall thermal performance. It created a weathertight seal to protect the artifacts within. Opened in February 2007, the museum contains Britain’s three V-Bombers—Vulcan, Victor and Valiant—and 13 other Cold War aircraft. It also has a replica of the Berlin Wall. Galliford Try Investments in England was the main contractor.

The Birds Of Vermont Museum

Run by a private, non-profit organization, this museum in Huntington, VT, features more than 470 carved birds, representing 258 species. The woodcarvings, done by Robert Spear Jr., depict Vermont’s nesting species in their natural habitats, as well as North America’s endangered and extinct species. A 100-acre bird sanctuary/nature preserve surrounds the building.

In keeping with the structure’s rustic appearance and a desire for durability and low maintenance, the museum replaced its shingle roof with 2,000 sq. ft. of Englert Series A1300 Galvalume Plus steel standing seam roofing. Another part of the renovation included replacing the existing siding with unpainted vertical bead board siding.

The contractor was Burrell Roofing of Williamstown, VT.

King Rama IX Museum

Metal roofing’s versatility and available color combinations were exhibited on this Bangkok, Thailand, museum. Classic Metal Roofing Systems provided its Oxford Shingle panels in three PVDF reflective pigment colors: 13,900 sq. ft. in Copper, 4,900 sq. ft. in Mustang and 3,300 sq. ft. of Copper Patina-colored panels. All of the panels were formed from .024” aluminum.

Construction began in July 2006 and was finished in November of that year. United Roof Corp. of Bangkok was the roofing contractor.

Maritime Museum

Located in Perth, Australia, this museum utilized 6,500 sq. ft. of RHEINZINK preweathered blue-gray angled standing seam panels from RHEINZINK. MRC Contracting, Maddington, Australia, was the roofing contractor, while Perth-based Cox Howlett & Bailey Woodland Architects was the designer.