Cooper Robertson Publishes “Flood Mitigation in Museum Design”

White paper outlines design tactics that will help protect collections against major climatic events.

03.21.2017

Cooper Robertson outlines techniques for cultural facilities to prevent damage of collections by severe weather in their new white paper, “Flood Mitigation in Museum Design.”

Flooding from severe weather events associated with climate change pose a dangerous risk to museums. In this new publication, experts discuss how both planning and resilient design features can help museums resist and mitigate the potential impacts of severe climatic events. According to Cooper Robertson partner Scott Newman, FAIA, “Informed architectural design, sound museum planning, and strong technical knowledge of the behavior of floods can protect a museum’s staff and collections from the risks associated with new extreme weather models."

For the Whitney Museum of American Art adjacent to the Hudson River in New York City, architects from Renzo Piano Building Workshop in collaboration with Cooper Robertson located all galleries and art storage on the fifth floor and higher, protecting the collections from future storms.

The firm also specified 10-inch-thick aluminum floodgates and continuous waterproofing of the exterior walls for quick staff response to periodic flooding. If a catastrophic event like Hurricane Sandy is anticipated, a temporary flood barrier is deployed to protect the building’s ground floor and basement.

More detailed information on the design of the Whitney Museum is covered in , “Flood Mitigation in Museum Design,” along with other techniques for preventing damage to cultural assets. The full document can be found here.

“Flood Mitigation in Museum Design” is part of a five-part series of white papers on cultural architecture by Cooper Robertson.