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Construction Tour: Museum of the Bible

Rendering of the Museum of the Bible courtesy of SmithGroupJJR.

The Museum of the Bible will be a non-sectarian museum focusing on the history and impact of the Bible with a core collection of more than 40,000 biblical antiquities, rare biblical texts, and artifacts. The project scope encompasses the full gamut of construction projects possible including: adaptive re-use of the 1922 Terminal Refrigerating and Warehousing Building, a DC Landmark building, an office building addition, and a new infill building, resulting in a 430,000 gsf museum.

This highly technical tour will focus on reviewing exterior envelope systems for the Museum of the Bible.  In addition to a general walk through of the project, the group will study four of the more unique enclosure assemblies in greater detail.  These include: the Kolumba brick walls, historic masonry restoration and window replacement, glass arc curtain wall, and the curved batten seam roof.

The small group size is intended to allow for attendee interaction and discussion.  As this is a tour of a construction site, PPE will be required to attend.

Presenter: Marcus Wilkes is a Principal at SmithGroupJJR and has spent the majority of his 19 year career constructing museums on, or near, the National Mall including: the National Museum of the American Indian, the Kogod Courtyard at the National Portrait Gallery, The Arts and Industries Building envelope renovation, and the recently completed National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Organized by: DC Building Enclosure Council


After attending this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify a wide variety of building envelope systems at the Museum of the Bible;
  • Discuss the challenges of containing a high humidity environment in a historic building envelope;
  • Describe the impact of Public Agency approvals on the various enclosure systems; and
  • Summarize the advantages associated with a design-assist curtain wall delivery.