Flood protection concept for one of the most important museums of contemporary art, located directly on the banks of the Hudson River in Manhattan

The Whitney Museum of American Art relocated to a new build in the highly frequented Meatpacking District on Manhattan’s West Side. The design by Renzo Piano boasts not just an exhibition area, but also education spaces, an auditorium and restoration workshops, with the rooms spread across a total of nine storeys. Flooding of the entire area by Hurricane Sandy during the construction period in October 2012 caused extensive damage to the museum. This called for a new flood protection concept to be swiftly developed and realized. The special project requirements, in consideration of a minimally invasive intervention in the architecture, translated into innovative combinations of flood protection measures. In addition to the installation of flood protection gates, mobile flood protection walls were placed on the free zone round the glazed entrance area. The concept was then transformed into a solution that ensures flood water protection remains unobtrusive during museum’s normal operation. The system certainly complies with the new flood protection standards since set by New York City.

ClientWhitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA
ArchitectsConceptual design: Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Implementation: Cooper Robertson & Partners
Project dataGFA: 20,400 m²
LocationNew York

Our services

  • Status analysis
  • Flood protection concept
  • Advice on details of the realisation
  • On-site reviews

Download the project description PDF

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