Client: Salvador Dalí Museum
Architect: HOK, Florida
General Contractor: The Beck Group
Glass Structure Consultant: Novum Structures LLC
Structural Engineer: Walter P. Moore & Associates Inc.
Size: 6 320 m²
Price: $36 milion
The first directive of architect Yann Weymouth, senior vice president in the Tampa office of HOK, an international firm, was to make a home for the world-class art collection that is impervious to hurricanes. But ignoring the superb views of its downtown waterfront site would have been a travesty. The exterior walls are 18 inches thick and have miles of reinforcing steel to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. Specially developed for this project, the triangulated glass panels are 38mm thick, insulated and laminated, and were tested to resist the 220 kmh winds, driven rain and missile impacts of a Category 3 hurricane.
Its cost is about $36 million. The architectural element known as the Glass Enigma is composed of 1,062 glass triangles, the most-complex structure of its kind and size in the United States. The panes are cleaned by climbers who can bolt into anchors built into the metal grid holding the glass, then ascend with buckets of soap and water.“The flowing, free-form use of geodesic triangulation is a recent innovation enabled by modern computer analysis and digitally controlled fabrication that allows each component to be unique,” explained Weymouth. “No glass panel, structural node or strut is precisely the same. This permitted us to create a family of shapes that, while structurally robust, more closely resembles the flow of liquids in nature.”