|PAMM Buidling by Daniel Azoulay|
- Herzog & de Meuron elevated the first floor of the museum above the 18-foot high-water mark left by Category 5 Hurricane Andrew in 1992. This elevation also acts as a cushion for projected effects of climate change.
- In cases of extreme rain, storm surge or flooding, gaps in the floors of the patio surrounding the museum allow water to drain into the parking garage, located underneath the museum.
- A power generator on the third floor of the museum ensures electricity to the building even if lower floors are affected by flooding. The generator has enough fuel to sustain the museum for three days, and can be refueled by truck. If roads are blocked, as is often the case after a hurricane, we can refuel by barge, thanks to our waterfront location.
- Our second-floor windows are the largest panels of hurricane-resistant glass in the US (17.5 feet tall by seven feet wide, each weighing 2,500 pounds). Engineers in Germany tested them by shooting 2x4s at them at hurricane-force speed.
- The entrance doors of the museum are not only majestic teak, they’re 550 pounds each, with a multi-prong pin system that locks the doors in several places to secure them against category-five hurricane winds.
- Our famous hanging gardens, designed by Patrick Blanc, are designed to withstand a category five hurricane; the plants can easily be replaced if need be, and the architects and Blanc reinforced the fiberglass tubes with stainless steel armatures, so the mechanical system and irrigation system remain intact.
|PAAM Bayside Stair Photo by Juan E. Cabrera|
Miami is a city with experience when it comes to disaster preparedness and disaster relief. In addition to our own measures, PAMM is part of The Alliance for Response (AFR) Miami group, as well as the Heritage Preservation’s Alliance for Response initiative. This way we can pool resources and respond quickly in the event of an emergency.
The thing about working at a museum, and being responsible for its content, is that the content is worth more than just money—there is no insurance policy that can replace a singular original piece of art. That piece came from history, came from one person’s mind, and has resonated with thousands more. There is intangible, sentimental, and cultural value to the artwork we protect. We here at PAMM have the good fortune of working with a relatively new building that was not only aesthetically inspired by the subtropics, and also cleverly designed to withstand the subtropics’ tempestuous nature. The results are a pleasure to behold, but also a case study in design solutions for the 21stcentury.
Has your museum used resilient design for renovations or new construction? Please share your story, and links, in the comment section below.