Options for the structural design of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) expansion were constrained from the beginning. The unique site and foundation demands, along with compact architectural programming, limited possible structural strategies. However, in the end, these constraints sparked an innovative design using structural steel that met the economic and structural performance requirements, and helped make the largest modern art museum in the U.S. a resounding success. Its light weight and high strength-to-weight ratio decreased gravity loads at the foundation and minimized seismic mass. Structural steel also facilitated long spans over galleries and large cantilevers along the curved east façade and its incorporation into BRBs helped balance the stiffness of the long, skinny floor plates while also limiting the foundation loads under seismic forces.
SME Steel collaborated closely with the design and construction team to deliver this stunning project on time and within budget.