To assist with the extensive concrete work, Tarlton contracted with McCarthy Building Cos., forming a successful collaboration between two of the region’s most qualified concrete contractors. “The museum project definitely showcases the versatility of concrete,” noted Hart. “The team effort involved also demonstrates how well many separate entities can work together to achieve something special for St. Louis. Ultimately, more than 1,500 skilled builders and tradespeople contributed to the successful outcome of this project. It’s a tribute to their craftsmanship.”
Protecting people and art
The logistics of maintaining a safe and productive construction site at a cultural institution open to the public was a daunting task. “A big obstacle was working alongside an operating art museum. From the project’s onset, we had to be extremely sensitive to the environment,” Pfund said. “Barricades and partitions were erected to keep the museum clean and visitors safe, and we constructed a temporary road to reduce construction traffic from the front of the museum as well as provide two access points for construction.”
Pfund noted that the Tarlton team encountered large volumes of rock during deep foundation excavation, which was completed just a few feet from the 1904 Cass Gilbert-designed Main Building. The rock needed to be removed, crushed on site and reused – generally noisy and vibration-creating processes. “We carefully monitored vibrations in locations throughout the building,” said Pfund. To keep vibration within the acceptable range, the team used smaller equipment than usual and, when working very close to the existing building, completed work by hand.
The Saint Louis Art Museum Expansion Project is LEED Registered, designed in accordance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards for environmentally sustainable construction developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. HOK is the architect of record on the project. The Rise Group served as project manager.
The Saint Louis Art Museum is one of the nation’s leading comprehensive art museums with collections that include works of art of exceptional quality from virtually every culture and time period. The museum offers a full range of exhibitions and educational programming generated independently and in collaboration with local, national and international partners.
Tarlton Corp. is St. Louis’ largest women-owned general contracting and construction management firm, with 2011 revenues of $140 million.