East Building National Gallery of Art: An Adventure in Architectural Concrete

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Title: East Building National Gallery of Art: An Adventure in Architectural Concrete

Author(s): James W. Mann

Publication: Concrete International

Volume: 1

Issue: 8

Appears on pages(s): 18-24

Keywords: architectural concrete; concrete con-struction; formwork (construction); mix proportioning; museums; reinforced concrete; reinforcing steels.

Date: 8/1/1979

Abstract:
Few buildings are designed and constructed today to last a few decades, let alone until the 22nd century. But one is. The East Building of the National Gallery of Art was to be the best quality structure that man is capable of producing. Permanence was one of three design requirements requested in the structure by benefactor Paul Mellon. The others were dignity and splendor. Concrete plays a dominant role in satisfying each of these essentials. The concrete is blemishless-uniform in color, with crisp edges, and slab and column joints that are invisible to the eye. The 192 coffer forms were painstakingly constructed by cabinetmakers at $1000 each; none was used a second time. Of the 98,000 cu yd (74,921 m3) of concrete in the East Building, 12,000 cu yd (9174 m3) was exposed architectural concrete. [Author]