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April 28, 2016

Architectural concrete

Photo courtesy of WACA
Museum visitors pass under a solid concrete lintel to reach the stairs to the main gallery.

Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

Location: Bainbridge Island

Owner/developer: Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

Team: PHC Construction, general contractor; Moncrieff Construction, concrete contractor; Coates Design Architects, architect; ARW Engineers, structural engineer; Hard Rock, ready-mix supplier

The 20,000-square-foot Bainbridge Island Museum of Art plays on the juxtaposition of concrete and glass.

A concrete “box” that gives the building mass and structure is broken on the south side with a 28-foot-tall curved glass facade. The main concrete structure provides a sense of protection to the artwork while the large curving glass wall communicates motion and an invitation to enter the building.

Upon arrival at BIMA, museum visitors pass under a solid concrete lintel and are then drawn upstairs to the main gallery. Guests are lured by daylight streaming through the curved glass facade, punctuated by the impact of the lightness of glass and the weight of the concrete.

The formed concrete is intentionally left exposed to provide robust visual texture next to the smooth white walls of the interiors, allowing light to wash the walls, highlighting this unique quality of the cast concrete.

The concrete also serves a utilitarian purpose. The thermal massing of the concrete used in the buildings walls, foundation and floor support the energy efficiency of the geothermal heating.

ICF was utilized along the east wall, which abuts a state highway, for its acoustical properties. In addition, ICF was selected to help maintain budget restrictions and pace of construction.

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