Bridges and Infrastructure
Applied Research
Project Name
Toledo Museum of Art
Glass Pavilion

Toledo OH
2000 - 2006

Toledo Museum of Art

Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA

Associate Architect
Kendall/Heaton Architects

Structural Engineer
Guy Nordenson and Associates

Consulting Structural Engineer
Sasaki Structural Consultants

The Glass Pavilion is a free-standing addition to the Toledo Museum of Art, exhibiting a significant collection of glass objects. The building is 75,000sf with exterior and interior walls of glass. The interior glass walls form the galleries, and between them, cavities for ventilation and heating.

The structure combines unorthodox solutions for steel framing in the roof and concrete framing in the floor to allow circulation of services in the thinnest possible depths. The steel roof consists of a moment-connected beam and girder horizontal grid. The system is comparable to a flat plate and has a maximum structural depth of 12in for spans of up to 50ft. The concrete floor is made up of shallow but wide band beams with one way slabs to allow for numerous linear slots for the feeding of HVAC from below. Round bar columns are machined to create pin connections at the top and reduce the diameter to 4 1/4in. Exposed vertical steel plate serves as both column and shear panel to combine vertical and lateral support with an extremely thin profile.