HOK uses BIM to design the new Dali Museum (Architecture Showcase)
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HOK uses BIM to design the new Dali Museum (Architecture Showcase)

January 14, 2011 -- The new Dalí Museum opened on January 11, 2011, at 11:11 a.m. Located on a scenic waterfront site in downtown St. Petersburg, Fla., the 68,000-square-foot structure doubles the size of the original 1982 Dalí Museum, a one-story warehouse. Exhibits include oils, watercolors, sketches, sculptures and other works from a 2,140-piece permanent collection.

HOK's design team used building information modeling (BIM) to visualize the complex geometries of the museum's conceptual design, which includes free fluid forms that could not have been conveyed on two-dimensional platforms. This enabled the team to communicate complex design concepts and show compelling renderings from various vantage points to the museum board early in the process. 

The form of the Enigma was first shaped using Google SketchUp. The geometry was then brought into Rhino for refinement into a smooth, fluid form. It was then imported back into SketchUp to create a wire mesh form. This was exported to Autodesk Revit software to generate the technical model with framing members and glass panels. Likewise, the team used SketchUp and Revit to design the helical staircase.

The design team used the BIM information to analyze the forces that shape the volumes and validate their structural integrity against the structural design criteria. Walter P. Moore, the structural engineering firm, used this information to design the necessary attachment supports required to react to these forces.

HOK also used BIM to produce acoustical models of sound traversing connected free-from spaces within the Enigma. 
Coordination of the complex MEP systems inherent in a museum was made possible by BIM. The team used the BIM through Navisworks software to coordinate building design and structural system with MEP systems.

Manufacturing of the intricately precise components of the Enigma, done by Novum Structures, also came from BIM. Each framing member, connection node and panel of glass is unique. They were made in factories in India, China and the U.S. and arrived on-site pre-coded and mapped to their specific place in the giant jigsaw puzzle. By the time the cast in place concrete 'treasure box' was completed with embed attachments in place, the thousands of pieces had arrived on site and were ready for installation. Each of the pieces fit together as designed to realize the complete building shell.

See a complete project description in our Architecture Showcase.

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