Opening of new Whitney Museum of American Art

Flood protection was finalized in time.

On May first the new Whitney Museum of American Art opens for public.

Renzo Piano designed the new museum with wide open light gallery spaces and with marvelous views over the Hudson and Manhattan connecting the outside to the inside. The design presents an enormous change in expression regarding the old Whitney Museum designed by Marcel Breuer in 1966 as closed, protective concrete structure at the Upper East Side. The new Museum is located in the Meatpacking District in Manhattan, NYC at the end of the Highline and next to the Hudson River in a low laying area.

The storm surge caused by the Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 detected a severe vulnerability of the building for storm surges, especially as the flood exceeded the applicable design water level.

WTM Engineers were asking to develop a flood mitigation concept which should be integrated into and hidden behind the existing design, as the design was already done and the building was structurally completed. Based on a new design water level, determined in cooperation with the Franzius Institute for Hydraulic, Estuarine and Coastal Engineering in Hannover, WTM Engineers were able to develop a flood protection concept including the strengthening of the existing structure, arranging of flood gates and mobile barrier systems at all openings exposed to flood and developing a concept for operation.

WTM Engineers accompanied the implementation of the concept on-site. The museum was finalized in time.

WTM Engineers enabled the new Whitney Museum of American Art to protect their invaluable artwork in future to much worse storm surges than the one of the devastating Sandy Hurricane.