Heller & Metzger in Washington, DC

National Gallery of Art Stone Repairs

Washington, DC / Robert Silman Associates, PLLC

In 2005, the pink marble panels that envelop I.M. Pei’s East Wing of the National Gallery of Art were showing signs of pulling away from the building. Excess mortar and lead shims had inadvertently tied the stones together, and as temperatures rose and fell over 30 years, the fastening system failed. Contractors Balfour Beatty and Smoot Construction joined forces to execute the repairs, along with masonry contractor Pagliaro-Lorton-Nardi and the design firm Robert Silman Associates. The solution involved attaching the marble cladding with various anchors, allowing each panel to move independently, and included a soft silicone gasket that won’t stress the stones.