An Arbor for Art

by David B. Spires, P.E., Assoc.; Thornton-Tomasetti Engrs., Dallas, TX,
Leo J. Galletta, P.E., Sr. Vice Pres.; Thornton-Tomasetti Engrs., Dallas, TX,
Leonard M. Joseph, P.E., Sr. Vice Pres.; Thornton-Tomasetti Engrs., New York, NY,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2002, Vol. 72, Issue 4, Pg. 46-53

Document Type: Feature article


The new $50-million, 153,000 sq ft (14,200 m�) building for the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth will provide the museum with more than five times its current gallery space. The design by celebrated architect Tadao Ando encompasses a series of gallery modules that appear to rise from the wooded site like a grove of trees adjacent to a 1.5 acre (0.6 ha) pond. An outer, three-story glass curtainwall, shaded from the Texas sun by sweeping roof overhangs, surrounds massive inner gallery walls of architectural concrete. Large roof overhangs at the pond end of each gallery are supported by tall Y-shaped columns, which were site-cast in pieces and attached using concealed connections. Reflecting the central role of cast-in-place concrete, almost every dimension in the museum conforms to an 8 ft (2.4 m) module or a multiple thereof, corresponding to the length of the formwork panels. A pattern of alternating 24 ft (7.3 m) and 40 ft (12.2 m) wide galleries establishes the rhythm of the plan. The roof system consists of a complex torsional folded plate of architectural concrete, from which lower roof structures are suspended.

Subject Headings: Roofs | Public buildings | Concrete | Suspended structures | Ponds | Architecture | Wood and wood products

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