Christian Honigschmid-Grossich, Grimshaw Architects, describes the unique building program.
One of the museum’s key architectural features is the planetarium, which is the main focal point as you approach by road or public transportation. At 67-foot in diameter, the self-supporting sphere loads to a precast dome cap, referred to by the architect as the Artic Circle, which was supported by a temporary custom-engineered shoring tower.
In turn, the 32 separate sections of precast concrete concave “peels” were placed conversely to ensure the dome cap would be loaded equally during installation.
“After looking at a steel structure to support cladding panels of different materials, and considering a shotcrete dome, self-supporting spherical precast concrete structural panels proved to be the most cost effective solution. It provided the density required for acoustics, the durable structure, and a light sandblast finish that was the perfect projection surface.”
— James Palma, Rodriguez and Quiroga Architects
Christian Hoenigschmid-Grossich of Grimshaw took full advantage of this type of forming system to provide movement across this entire façade in the form of geodesic shapes inspired by shapes found in nature. One of these natural phenomena is the Giant’s Causeway located in Northern Ireland, a world heritage site established by UNESCO in 1986.
The planetarium as well as the six-story bar building features panels cast using a concrete mix known in the design community as “Miami White”.
The BAR building is comprised of 95 panels featuring 16 versions of geodesic shapes, creating a “living building” with a wide variety of angles that react with light during the day as well as during the evening when illuminated. The design team focused heavily on the forming tolerances as in many cases, light would be hitting the shapes with acute angles. This is one of the most difficult conditions for façade materials as any imperfection is pronounced.
Harry H. Edwards Industry Advancement Award
and Best Government and Public Building
Gate Precast, Kissimmee, FL, was recognized for excellence in manufacturing and craftsmanship of architectural and structural elements fabricated for Frost Science.
British Consulate-General, Florida and UK Trade and Investment honored the Frost Science for sustainable design during construction.