Maintaining the Sanctity of the Museum Architecture While Designing


The beauty of European museum architecture addresses the mutability and monumentality of construction. Alongside beauty, failure, futility and disappearance are canned as generative process by architectural consultants. Furthermore, amalgamation of architectural designs with engineering and technology has become innovative with BIM adoption.  

Museum structures across the continent of Europe are icons of attractive architecture, and their buildings are renowned for unique façades. However, façades aren’t the only driving factors for AEC professionals. It takes immensely robust building strength and incredibly good designs for erecting an unusual structure. Also these museums demand seamless collaboration of each building element and for museums to be efficiently operative under all conditions as well.

Museum structures are all same; but different

For instance, take Munch museum in Oslo - the building space that is dedicated to Edward Munch, or Louis Vuitton museum in Paris with an out of the box building structure and glass claddings that reflect Paris skylines adding to the museum’s beauty.

Both these structures are built during different eras, in different geographies, different nationality of architects & engineers and also with different perspectives. However, one thing common to both is that they involve complex shapes with amalgamation of building elements into a single, holistic museum structure.

Deeper dive into Louis Vuitton museum architecture

The Louis Vuitton museum case revealed that construction would never have been easy had BIM not been on the architects’ side of the court from concept through to construction.

Upon closer inspection of the case, it can be easily deducted that the building is not only an architectural showpiece, but a fine blend of engineering and technology as well. The building was primarily designed by an alliance of geographically scattered team in different continents.

Along with the geographical differences in design approach and systems, there were also 10 different companies involved which required having a complete access of latest updates in model design. With multiple users involved in the design process, the model had to be dynamic to respond to changes in real time.

Another challenge the architects and engineers faced while designing this bizarre structure was the incorporation of glass façades on the outside of the building structure for skyline reflection. The generous use of glass posed as a serious challenge in meeting the costs budgets.

In any other normal construction projects employing glass works, curved glasses are formed with metal molds. However, in this case, each glass panel had unique shape, requiring several thousands of metal molds. This naturally restricted the engineers to use conventional method and resort to CNC machining for mass customization.

BIM for a consensus of architects’ designs

To realize such an asset with high complex geometry and physical structure, there has to be a common platform for all the professionals to maintain the sanctity of building architecture. It becomes necessary to have a shared data environment to work upon and also to dispense any graphical and non-graphical data.

Developing a federated BIM model for museum is really helpful to take it further for construction stage. There is a strong case of implementing BIM for enhanced outputs, especially when there are multiple aspects to be considered in order to align them with modernistic architectural designs and technology.  

BIM essentially keeps complexity, costs and quality of final designs under control. BIM-ready 3D models not only take care of visualizing the design, but also assist stakeholders during construction, maintenance and refurbishment to take informed decisions. 

Architects should take a decision now and reemphasize on developing BIM-ready models that invariably act as thinking machines. Turn the museum building model into thinking machine with BIM federated models to inculcate latest technology in construction processes, irrespective of bizarre structure, modernistic or gothic architecture.