Engineering a Monument, Evoking a Nightmare

by Leo Argiris, (M.ASCE), Assoc.; Weiskopf and Pickworth, New York, NY,
Khosrow Namdar, (A.M.ASCE), Project Mgr.; Weiskopf and Pickworth, New York, NY,
Trevor Adams, (M.ASCE), Sr. Structural Engr.; Weiskopf and Pickworth, New York, NY,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1992, Vol. 62, Issue 2, Pg. 48-51

Document Type: Feature article


Rather than simply standing as a backdrop for exhibits, the $53.2 million U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is intended to be part of the fabric of the exhibition itself. Now under construction on the Mall in Washington, D.C., the 245,000 sq ft Museum will document the history of the Holocaust from 1933 through 1949 and serve as the national memorial to its victims. The design by project architect James Ingo Freed of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, New York, himself a refugee of the Holocaust, borrows elements used in the construction of concentration camps. As structural engineers for the project, Weiskopf & Pickworth, New York, had to recall 50-year old steel construction methods using plates and angles in designing the architecturally exposed steel of the three-story Hall of Witness atrium's warped skylight and the glass and steel pedestrian bridges that span the atrium at the fifth floor level. They also had to accommodate structural requirements for exhibiting several large-scale artifacts, added after construction had begun.

Subject Headings: Steel bridges | Steel construction | Steel plates | Structural steel | Monuments | Public buildings | Building design | Infrastructure construction | United States | New York | Washington

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