220 Jewett Blvd, PO Box 218, White Salmon, WA 98672 | 509.493.2112
Maryhill Museum gets engineering honor
For Stevenson wing
December 21, 2012
Maryhill Museum of Art and Schommer & Sons Inc. announced that the museum's Mary and Bruce Stevenson Wing was honored as Engineering News Record (ENR) Northwest's 2012 Best Project.
The expansion was also awarded ENR's Best Cultural/Worship Project in the Northwest in 2012.
The Maryhill Museum of Art project was selected by an independent jury of professionals who judged entries on five main criteria: teamwork and overcoming challenges, safety, innovation and contribution, construction quality and craftsmanship, and function and aesthetic quality of the design.
The jury could select one Best Project and multiple Awards of Merit in each category.
Jurors selected Maryhill Museum of Art's expansion as overall Project of the Year, representing the best work across all categories.
"The building is aesthetically beautiful, but what people don't see is that it had a high degree of challenge in terms of construction and engineering. That may not be immediately apparent to visitors, but it was apparent to our jury," said Bruce Buckley, editor of ENR.
According to Buckley, the project also holds another distinction.
"What makes this project unique, not just among this year's winners but among all our past winners, is that it was a sub-$10 million project that beat out projects with budgets in excess of a half-billion dollars. That is very impressive," he said.
The Mary and Bruce Stevenson Wing opened to much fanfare in May 2012 and has been well-received by both visitors and the press. The $9.5 million expansion was the first in the museum's history and the largest cultural capital project in the Columbia River Gorge in 15 years.
One of the wing's most remarkable engineering features is a cantilevered deck that extends out over the Gorge nearly 20 feet in some places. During construction, the Schommer & Sons crew spent nearly two months excavating the fractured basalt on site. This is the type of hard, dense stone that the entire Gorge is carved from.
After that, creating the cantilever required immense construction coordination and technical framework, including an intricate system of shoring to support the high-strength concrete while it cured in place.
The energy efficient Stevenson Wing is also on track to receive a United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold rating.
GBD Architects of Portland designed the Mary and Bruce Stevenson Wing.