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Nelson Atkins Museum of Art

Museum Addition and Parking Garage

SEA provided structural engineering services for the Nelson-Atkins Museum’s latest work of art: a multi-phased addition and renovation. The project included: a 160,000 square-foot expansion, a new 457-car garage and a central plant. Additional renovations were performed in galleries throughout the main building.

The project’s first phase, the garage, opened in 2002. SEA provided pre-cast design services featuring a unique “sine wave” tee beam design. These beams span the length of the garage and create an undulating wave pattern throughout.

The underground garage was conceived as a vehicular arrival hall, so it was generously sized and includes direct access to the new museum lobby on both levels. A reflecting pool sits above the garage and includes 24 skylights that filter natural light into the parking area.

SEA’s work with the Nelson-Atkins dates back to the original construction in 1933 and today we continue to help the museum grow. As the Nelson-Atkins continues to acquire new pieces, our engineers work with the staff to create structural designs that can support the various displays. One gallery contains pieces that weigh more than 4,000 pounds.