Photo by Thomas Mayer


de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park

San Francisco, CA

Market: Cultural


Fong & Chan Architects




2006 Excellence in Architecture: Civic Achievement Award, AIA San Francisco
2006 American Architecture Award, Chicago Athenaeum
de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park
de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park

Photo by Thomas Mayer

de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park

The original museum opened in Golden Gate Park in 1895. Damaged beyond repair by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the building was demolished in 2000 to make way for a new 292,000 sq ft building containing 116,000 sq ft of gallery and education space. Designed by the Swiss architectural team of Herzog & de Meuron, the contemporary structure features a 160 ft observation tower offering stunning views of San Francisco. SGH consulted on the building enclosure for the copper-clad museum.

Scope | Solutions

SGH assisted the architect-of-record, Fong and Chan, with the design of the building enclosure, plaza deck, and below-grade waterproofing. We consulted on the copper cladding rain screen, the inverted standing seam copper roof, and other systems. Since the building uses base isolation, we helped develop cladding details to meet the same performance objectives as the structure. 

SGH investigated the cause of insulation buckling during installation of the new copper roof. We performed field testing and laboratory mockup studies. SGH determined the buckling resulted from high temperatures combined with the effects of a moist geotextile fabric installed over the drainage composite. We proposed remedial work, including replacing extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation with Foamglas insulation.

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