The Smithsonian

Project: Renwick Gallery Renovation
Location: Washington, D.C.
Architect: Westlake Reed Leskosky
Photographer: Prakesh Patel

Our restoration of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s 19th century Renwick Gallery—a National Historic Landmark—is the first comprehensive renovation of the museum in over 40 years. The transformation of this 34,000-square-foot museum into a 21st century destination includes: the historic restoration of the museum’s galleries, exterior masonry and slate roof, the integration of 21st century building systems, the adaptation of underused space for new office and storage areas, as well as extensive structural upgrades ranging from lintel supports in the basement to the replacement of roof joists and new precast slab in the attic to facilitate the new mechanical systems.

This level of painstaking renovation requires precise building data: to accurately plan the renovation Consigli created a comprehensive building information model (BIM), built from a laser scan of the existing building that allowed the team to virtually construct the project first. From the complete reconstruction of the attic structure, to the installation of modern museum-quality air handling and humidification systems, to 100% LED lighting, the team’s model assured all would fit within the 19th century walls and ceilings.

  • Sensitive site logistics plans to address the high-security, urban site across from the White House, adjacent to the New Executive Office Building
  • Creation of comprehensive building information model from laser scans of existing building supported painstaking renovation
  • Integration of new M/E/P, HVAC fire protection, LED-lighting and security systems into this 19th century National Historic Landmark; reconstruction of historically accurate vaulted ceilings
  • Mock-ups, testing and installation of blast-resistant security windows to match restored historic façade