The New York Hall of Science Great Hall
The New York Hall of Science Great Hall was originally built for the 1964 World’s Fair using a technique known as dalle de verve – a method in which small pieces of glass are placed either randomly or in a specific pattern and a solidifying material poured to hold them in place. Approximately 5,400 2-foot by 3-foot panels were created for the Great Hall. They were hung side by side using hooks inlaid into the cast in place structure and panels – making them literally hang in the structure. Its unique shape – a one hundred foot high wave wall with no corners or straight segments – is another defining feature of this structure.
Recent investigations revealed concrete spalling and deterioration, due mainly to inadequate rebar coverage, at various locations. The pre-cast panels were cracking between the pieces of glass and the edges of the panel and the surface sand finish was washing away. Results of laboratory tests recommended a consolidating treatment and a weather seal be applied to the façade. STRUCTURAL was hired to perform the repair.
Due to the large volume of repairs and the presence of other contractors on the job, careful planning was required to ensure safe and successful project execution. Logistically, the historic and architectural significance of the structure made it important to match the original physical properties of the concrete. Repair locations ranged in size from 2 inches to 19 feet in length. While a total of 1,000 five gallon buckets of material used, individual repair sections were usually smaller than one square foot.
A well-planned strategy, thoughtful coordination with the entire repair team, skilled execution and a commitment to safety all played a role in successfully restoring this unique structure to its original condition – allowing present and future visitors to enjoy its beauty for years to come.