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Diller Scofidio + Renfro reveals its spiraling US Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado
United States Architecture News - Jul 31, 2020 - 11:18 2210 views
Diller Scofidio + Renfro has completed the US Olympic and Paralympic Museum made of a folded facade with ruptures, the museum has officially been opened on July 30 to the public in Colorado.
Acting like diamond shell, the studio created a spiraling form that includes four volumes made of over 9,000 folded anodized diamond shaped aluminum panels, each unique in shape and size.
The interior of the museum presents much more dynamic movement through its continuous path that makes the building amongst the most accessible museums in the world, ensuring visitors with and without disabilities can smoothly share the same common experience.
The US Olympic and Paralympic Museum is a tribute to the Olympic and Paralympic movements with Team USA athletes at the center of the experience.
Encompassing a total of 60,000 square foot (5,574-square-metre) area, the museum features 20,000-square-foot (1,858-square-foot) galleries, a state-of-the-art theater, event space and cafe.
DS+R is inspired by the energy and grace of the Team USA athletes and the organizations inclusive values, the main aim of the studio was to create a continuous movement inside and direct visitors to the galleries in one continuous path.
The primary structural systems of the museum consist of a steel frame superstructure, drilled shaft caisson foundations, and cast-in-place concrete lateral cores.
All program elements are scattered on three levels, while the Plaza is situated at the heart of the museum complex, cradled by the museum building to the south and the cafe to the north.
"The plaza frames a postcard view of Pikes Peak and the Rocky Mountains beyond. With integrated amphitheater seating for 230 people, the plaza is able to host outdoor events throughout the seasons, from the winter games through the summer games," said Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
On the first level, there is a 40-foot (12-metre) tall lobby atrium that provides a skylight, while perforated GFRG (Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum) screens provide views from the lobby.
Four balconies at varying heights overlooking the atrium re-orient visitors to this central space as they move through the galleries.
Galleries are distributed on the first, second and third levels. DS+R designed gallery space as overlapping petals that wrap around the central atrium.
Clerestory lighting at the seams between these petals provides a soft daylight emanating from the central atrium space, terminating at vertical windows at the building’s perimeter.
"This lighting strategy doubles as wayfinding, orienting visitors back to the atrium, and situating them along a trajectory that moves through the galleries, which feature immersive interactive exhibitions designed by Gallagher Associates," added the firm.
On the level one, there is a 2,000-square-foot (186-square-metre) theater which can host a 130-person audience. Two rows of seats are removable to accommodate a max of 26 wheelchairs, enabling the potential for a full Paralympic hockey team to sit together.
On the second level, the studio arranged an event space, cafe and education room.The 1,300-square-foot (120-square-metre) event space features a panoramic view spanning from downtown Colorado Springs to the Rocky Mountains. The space can also open up to an adjoining 500-square-foot (46-square-mere) outdoor terrace.
Cafe with an additional 400-square-foot (37-square-metre) outdoor dining area is equipped to host a full-service restaurant as well as educational programs, providing a flexible meeting space across the plaza from the primary museum building. The cafe’s landscaped roof samples native plantings that express the change in seasons.
On the third level, the studio designed a 800-square-foot (74-square-metre) multi-functional board room that features an adjacent outdoor terrace and a floor-to-ceiling window framing a view of the Rocky Mountains.
The DS+R design team also designed a new pedestrian bridge spanning 250-feet (76.2-metre) over an active railyard to connect the museum complex to America the Beautiful Park.
The bridge extends an existing bike network, connecting downtown to the Midland Trail. The bridge’s six prefabricated sections will be assembled on site during Fall 2020.
"From the earliest stages of design, the team consulted a committee of Paralympic athletes and persons with disabilities to ensure that, from entrance to exit, all visitors with or without disabilities could tour the USOPM facility together and share a common path," added the studio.
"After they have been oriented, all visitors ascend to the top floor by elevator. Ramps guide visitors down a gentle-grade downhill circulation path that enables easier movement."
"Ramps have been widened to 6 feet to accommodate the side-by-side movement of two visitors including a wheelchair. Beyond ensuring all code and ADA requirements were rigorously met, material details including glass guardrails in the atrium for low-height visibility, cane guards integrated into benches, smooth floors for easier wheel chair movement, and loose seating in the café optimize the shared experience."
Facade is another key element of design where the studio wanted to bring a new dynamism. The taut skin wraps four overlapping petal-like volumes that spiral around the internal structure.
Each metallic panel is animated by the extraordinary light quality in Colorado Springs, producing gradients of color and shade that give the building another sense of motion and dynamism.
Level 1 plan
level 2 plan
Level 3 plan
Design Architect: Diller Scofidio + Renfro, (Partner-in-Charge: Benjamin Gilmartin)
Location: 200 S Sierra Madre St, in Southwest Downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado
Architect of Record: Anderson Mason Dale Architects
Exhibition Designers: Gallagher & Associates
Museum & Content Development: Barrie Projects
Structural Engineer: KL&A in collaboration with Arup
Civil Engineer: Kiowa Engineering Corporation
Fire Engineering: Jensen Hughes
Mechanical & Plumbing Engineer: The Ballard Group
Electrical Engineer: ME Engineers Acoustics, Audio/ Visual, Theater: ARUP
Accessibility: Ileana Rodriguez
Lighting: Tillotson Design Associates
Landscape Architects: NES, Inc. in collaboration with Hargreaves Jones
Code: Advanced Consulting Engineers
Vertical Circulation: Iros Elevators Design Services
Cost Estimating: Dharam Consulting
Energy Modeling: Iconergy
Exterior Envelope Consultant: Heitmann & Associates
Facade Fabrication: MG McGrath
Construction Manager and General Contractor: GE Johnson
Total Project Cost: $91 Million USD
Construction Hard Cost: $54 Million USD
All images © Jason O'Rear, courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
All drawings © DS+R
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