Museum of Science–Boston, Lobby Curtain Wall Renovation

  • Project Type:Exterior Façaden
  • Owner:Museum of Science
  • Location:Boston, Massachusetts
  • Architect: Cambridge Seven Architects
  • Engineer:WJE, RDK, Weidlinger
  • Project Dates:September-November 2014

The innovative and exciting Museum of Science Lobby Curtain Wall Project included preconstruction and renovation services for a 50’ x 50’ curtain wall system/façade in the main lobby. This project required careful coordination with the Museum of Science in order to protect its many visitors (in 2015 alone, the Museum had 1.38 million) and employees (600 plus) from the overhead construction work as they crossed the lobby each day. Safety, above all else, was DCBA’s top priority for the project’s duration. The façade overlooks the Charles River and is an aesthetic highlight of the Museum—both from the view inside the Lobby as well as the view from outside. Construction included replacing the old façade with new cutting-edge SageGlass Panels, electrochromic glass that dynamically tints to control sunlight. These panels were selected to minimize sun glare within the three-story main entrance space, and established the Museum as the largest user of SageGlass on the East Coast. This project was made even more challenging because (in order to take advantage of natural light) construction was scheduled to take place during the day and a DCBA staff member had to travel to the SageGlass corporate headquarters in Minnesota to coordinate with the company’s experts. DCBA’s workers were meticulous about ensuring the safety of the Museum’s patrons without impacting their experiences. DCBA elected to use a translucent protective screen on the inside of the lobby, so that visitors were able to watch construction activities as they progressed. In conjunction with the Design Team, DCBA developed an intricate scaffolding and hoist system in order to demolish the old curtain wall and install the new one in the shortest duration possible.