The Menil Collection

Main entrance of The Menil Collection art museum located in Houston, Texas

To help blend in with the surrounding residential neighborhood and showcase the private art collection of Dominique de Menil, Cardno designed a unique structural system that is an integral part of the architecture.

This 100,000 square-foot three-story museum, home to over 10,000 pieces of art displayed under natural lighting during the day, also includes areas for scholastic resources, storage and curatorial maintenance.

Cardno created a system of exposed trusses to support the glass roof, filter natural light and house mechanical duct work and electrical wiring. A series of leaf trusses, composed of a ferrocement shell and interconnected cast ductile iron elements, is supported by main girder trusses.

Because of the complex nature of the project, Cardno performed special structural analysis techniques, requiring new materials research and testing, fire resistance analysis, corrosion research and fullscale load tests.