Work is humming along on the$350 million expansion renovation project of the Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio. Six months of hard work paid off over the weekend, as the last sheet of glass was set. The 32,000 square foot skylight consists of 782 glass sheets held up by 24 steel trusses, and forms the essential component of Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly’s vision. Viñoly is the man behind 20 Fenchurch Street, aka The Walkie Talkie Tower, in London.

The renovation is the largest of its kind in the state of Ohio and even the America and serves to further revitalize the region, creating more space for public cultural and educational programs. New gallery and education spaces add a total of 55,300 square feet to the museum’s existing 389,000 square feet. Though planning began in 1999 through the identification of the need to modernize and expand, the project didn’t break ground until October 2005. It is on-track for a 2013 debut.

Though the atrium skylight is complete, the work is far from finished. Contractors, who include Panzica and Gilbane, will continue to build the core structural components, including a glass wall, a storage area in the basement and the facades of the new wings.

Viñoly’s vision calls for the atrium to be part of a greater public space rather than merely the lobby the museum. The atrium is designed to flood the room with light and provide a feeling of openness and warmth before the visitors move about to other parts of the facility.

Source: Cleveland Museum of Art

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