Largest Hurricane Proof Glass Pane Installed In Future Museum

Feb 1, 2013

Having a world-class museum set a few short feet from Biscayne Bay has both its advantages and its headaches. As the Miami Art Museum plans to make its move to future Museum Park, they know this all too well.

In order to showcase the natural beauty of the bay, designers of the Perez Art Museum Miami (what the museum will be called upon the move) built a plan including 74 windows on level one, and 50 windows on level two. The project called for building the largest single sheet hurricane resistant glass pieces ever constructed. The order was so tall that the team had to call upon a German company to manufacture the panes, and then they had to be imported for testing to meet construction standards.

On Friday, the museum and construction crew offered a walk-thru tour of the site, and a chance to see these record breaking pieces of glass get lifted by a crane and affixed into place by giant suction cups. The panes stand at 17.5 feet by 7 feet, and weigh 2,700 pounds each.

Project manager Stefan Hoerner described the unique attributes of the future museum. Designing the building for the Miami climate has been one of the hardest, but most rewarding parts of the process."In Miami, one of the best parts of the climate is the sun. But it's also getting away from the sun," he laughs.

The window panes are all slightly tinted to protect art pieces from sun damage, and the outdoor terrace area overlooking the bay will be shaded by a series of wooden planks and vertical hydroponic gardens.

The combination of planks and gardens will ensure that no direct sunlight touches the artwork. The thick windows make sure that you can see the beauty of the bay from the inside out, but the dangers of the bay will never get inside.