U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum | Submitted by GE Johnson Construction Co.
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Region: ENR Mountain States

Owner: U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum
Design Architect: Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Architect of Record: AndersonMasonDale
General Contractor: GE Johnson Construction Co.
Civil Engineer: Kiowa Engineering Corp.
Structural Engineer: KL&A Engineers
MEP Engineer: ME Engineers Inc.
Exhibit Designer: Gallagher & Associates
Accessibility Consultant: Ileana Rodriguez, I Design Access LLC
Subcontractors: Apollo Mechanical; Arapahoe Fire Protection; Drake Williams Steel; Encore Electric; MG McGrath; Schindler Elevator; Schommer Drywall & Framing; Spacecon Specialty Contractors; Thorcon Shotcrete and Shoring

The museum’s design was inspired by the physical motion of the athletes it celebrates. Its still geometry, with twists and turns, almost has kinetic energy. The iconic exterior includes nearly 9,000 interlocking diamond-shaped, anodized aluminum panels—no two alike.

“Every inch of the surface had to be modeled and coordinated to ensure proper fit with the aluminum panel system’s tolerances and depth,” says John McCorkle, construction executive with GE Johnson. “Additionally, the joints on all four sides of the diamond panels had to be maintained at 3/8 inch to ensure performance and desired aesthetic.”

John Graham, a principal at AndersonMasonDale, credits the team’s virtual modeling for the job’s success. “We could not have executed this project without the computer,” he says. “Everybody was in the model from the start.” He estimates the team spent more than 10,000 hours coordinating the work.

“Each step could not succeed without its predecessor being in sync,” says Brian Tominov, project manager, GE Johnson. “Structural steel, framing and even sheathing had little margin for error.”

The 60,000-sq-ft museum, which opened in July, includes immersive, interactive and static exhibits, a broadcast studio, café and retail spaces, an amphitheater and flexible meeting spaces. Exhibits are designed to be changed frequently and easily to keep visitors returning to the museum.

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