The new home of Salvador Dali's artwork is a 66,400-sq-ft facility that is as flamboyant as the Spanish artist himself. Designed by Yann Weymouth with HOK, the Category 5 hurricane-resistant building in St. Petersburg protects and exhibits the museum's priceless collection, which is the largest outside of Spain.
The three-story building consists of storage areas, an auditorium, a store, cafe, mechanical spaces, offices, a library and an art vault. The third level houses galleries connected by a sculptural gallery that overlooks the bay and is encased by a glass system that rises 75 ft from the plaza into the air.
The new facility doubles the museum's exhibition space and provides ample storage space. The glass free-form installation known as the “Enigma,” which was engineered and installed by Novum Structures, has become the building's trademark.
“The biggest challenge was the construction of the structural glazing system for the Enigma,” says Dale Mize, project executive at Beck Group, the contractor. It was the first time the system has been used in the U.S.
The system has more than 6,000 pieces, including embeds, nodes, struts, caps and glass, with many of the pieces coming from India and China. Beck managed the materials' long lead times through weekly tracking of the manufacturing process, shipments, tracking through customs and jobsite delivery.
Another design feature of the Dali Museum is the architectural concrete helical staircase. Originally designed to be a steel structure, it was changed to cast-in-place concrete after Beck's preconstruction team analyzed several different options. The end result delivered the same architectural intent along with $600,000 in savings.
Another challenge was the pervasive use of non-standard products, such as self-consolidating concrete, Novum's free-form structural glazing system and the acoustical plaster system, Mize says. “The systems and installations required many hours of investigative work and research, [as well as] mock-ups to assure the end product met or exceeded our client's expectations,” he says.
Owner: The Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Contractor: The Beck Group, Tampa
Architect: HOK, Tampa
Civil Engineer: Wilson Miller Stantec, Tampa
Structural Engineer: Walter P. Moore, Tampa
MEP Engineer: TLC Engineering for Architecture, Tampa
The Beck Group, Tampa