Stanford, CA

Stanford University, Cantor Arts Center Skylight


Opened in 1894 as the Leland Stanford Jr. Museum, the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University was reopened in 1999 as the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for the Visual Arts and is more commonly known as the Cantor Arts Center.  In 2012, Stanford University sought to restore the original lobby skylight and address chronic leakage.  SGH was the lead structural engineer for the project, and provided building enclosure consulting and peer review services.

Cantor Arts Center is the oldest reinforced, cast-in-place concrete structure west of the Mississippi River and it features an expansive museum lobby with a large, oval-shaped skylight. The original domed skylight structure consisted of a partially-reinforced concrete frame with glass infill units, but the glass units and external waterproofing were modified over the years. SGH collaborated with the project team to restore the appearance of the original concrete skylight frame, remove the glass infill units, and provide an independent external watertight skylight enclosure. For this project, we completed the following:

  • Conducted a condition assessment and analyzed the original concrete skylight frame
  • Designed fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) strengthening for the concrete frame
  • Peer reviewed the new steel tube enclosure structure that is independent of the concrete skylight frame
  • Consulted on the roofing design and transition details around the skylight
  • Provided recommendations for the skylight and secondary waterproofing systems
  • Peer reviewed the skylight design and provided construction support

The project team delivered a new external skylight structure that was aesthetically commensurate with the original appearance and improved both structural and weather protection performance.

Project Summary



Completion Date


Repair & Rehabilitation | Preservation
Building Enclosures | Structures
ARG Conservation Services, Inc. (ARG)
Specialized Capabilities
Repair & Strengthening | Preservation | Roofing & Waterproofing