Concrete Helps Art Museum Become Work of Art

The de Young Museum in San Francisco, California, received the top honors in the Sustainability and Institutional/Industrial categories at the 2007 CEMEX USA Building Awards. Built to replace the original museum damaged in a 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the project is innovative in design elements, construction materials, and techniques.

deyoung001_smallOne of the first "Green Building" projects in San Francisco utilizing high fly ash mixes, the building used 15,000 cubic yards of concrete. It features a nine-story vertical post-tensioned tower and state-of-the-art custom under-floor system featuring a system of plates with rubber liners that allows the building to move during seismic shifts.

The project reduced the original building's footprint by 37 percent in order to return nearly two acres of open space to a surrounding park. Yet, designers of the 293,000-square-foot building still managed to double the amount of exhibition space.

Skylights and floor-to-ceiling glass reduce power consumption and allow art to be viewed by natural light. The de Young Museum, designed to last for 150 years, has a metal skin of 50 percent copper in 7,000 embossed panels that over time will begin to develop a green patina and will with the environment, truly become a green building.


Project Developer:
The Corporation of Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Herzog & de Meuron of Basel, Switzerland

General Contractor:
Fong & Chan. Swinerton Builders, San Francisco, California