Sean McGadden Looking Outward – 03

Computational Fabrication of the SF MoMA exterior panels.

Looking Outward

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has always been a staple culturally. After three years of closure the new facade adds a sparkling white addition to the Bay Area skyline replicating the rippling waters of the bay. It was fabricated by Kreysler and Associates in partner with Snohetta Architects who have experience with composite materials and acoustic design.  A large system of facade panels were attached with joinery directly on to the front facade of the building creating a fascinating undulating feature the moves in and out of shadows and space as you approach the building. Each panel was individually designed and fabricated using layers of Monterey sand, fiberglass and eventually sandblasted for finish.

Workers in white suits carving a white undulating panel

This project is very interesting because it shows how computational design implemented with an economic and efficient construction and installation process makes full scale computationally designed structures a conceivable notion. Using a series of geographic, culturally and economic nodes around the museum, Snohetta designed a parametric form that tries to push and pull its surroundings in a natural overlapping of activity and interaction. The wave form on the front facade reflects this idea extremely well.


Sean McGadden

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