Coop Himmelblau’s filter roof for the Akron Museum

The expansion of the Akron Museum designed by Coop Himmelb(l)au is distinguished by its huge steel filter roof covering both the old and the new building.
It’s unusual to see such an expansion, especially on a museum, as the architects designed it with the intention of building something with high visual impact that would be environmentally and energy-sustainable.
The expansion, built next to the old neo-Renaissance museum building, features a multi-faceted core of glass and steel called the Crystal. The Crystal is built in the familiar architectural idiom of the studio, welcoming visitors and orienting them inside the museum while providing them with an architectural experience with all the excitement and originality we have come to associate with projects. from the studio.
The architects covered the whole thing with a large semi-transparent roof, not in classic glass but in orsogril, supported by imposing cantilevered steel beams. They thus obtain an architectural hat of metal blocking the rays of the sun: the roof absorbs the rays of the sun and dissipates them instantaneously, because it is a body almost entirely disconnected from the rest of the building. This is made possible structurally by a box-shaped post at its center, with overhangs of several meters, a design expedient ensuring that the glass core below receives no direct sunlight, which would have a devastating effect on works of art and visitors.
In addition, the Crystal is designed to create microclimatic zones adapted to the needs, while intelligently using the potential of the material chosen to build it. In the same way, the floor slabs act as true radiant plates, helping to control the climate inside the building, heating or cooling it as needed.

Fabrice Orsini

Client: Akron Art Museum, Akron, Ohio, USA

Planning: COOP HIMMELB(L)AU – Wolf D. Prix, Helmut Swiczinsky + Partner ZT GmbH

Design Director: Wolf D.Award
Project partner: Michael Volk
Design Architects: Tom Wiscombe, Mona Marbach
Project architect: Angus Schoenberger
Project team: Mona Bayr, Marcelo Bernardi, Lorenz Bürgi, Mohamed Fezazi, Robert Haranza, Daniela Kobel, Dan Narita, Florian Pfeifer, Dionicio Valdez, Philip Vogt
Executive Architect: Westlake, Reed, Leskosky, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Structural Engineering: B+G Ingenieure, Bollinger und Grohmann GmbH, Frankfurt, Germany; From Simone Consulting Engineers, San Francisco, USA
Mechanical Engineering: IBE Consulting Engineers, Los Angeles, USA
Acoustic engineering: Arup Acoustics, New York, USA
Lighting design: George Sexton Associates, Washington DC, USA
Site area: 8,370 m²
Total usable area: 8,244 m²
Existing building (renovation) Floor area: 2,367 m²
Extension (new construction) Usable area: 5,877 m²
Height of the existing Museum building: 16.75 meters
Building height new building:
Gallery Box: 11.25 meters, High Roof: 17.5 meters, Crystal: 17.5 meters
Max. Building length: 76 meters (Gallery Box)
Max. Building width: 38 meters (Gallery Box)
Photo: © Roland Halbé
Plans and Diagrams: © COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

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