Expansion Update: Forming the Walls

North Wing Addition We’ve reached the next big milestone in the construction of the North Wing addition: the walls are beginning to go up. The concrete serpentine walls will rise to an impressive twenty one feet. The concrete is being placed  six feet at a time, one lift on top of the other, with a cap section on the top.

North Wing Addition walls

Heating and ventilation ducts are engineered to be inside the walls. Electrical conduit is included in the wall.

There is plywood at the bottom of these ducts which will be removed to allow the flow of air. Here’s a view standing at the top of the wall looking down into the inside ducts. Some of the ducts are interconnected with steel pipe or square tubes.

Styrofoam is placed in the wall to create a void where ducts are not required. Some styrofoam pieces are added to shape the thinning ends of the walls.

This  Mock up section gives an idea of what the wall will look like at the tapered end.

This  Mock up section gives an idea of what the wall will look like at the tapered end.

These massive walls will form the largest space anywhere dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art in glass.

These massive walls will form the largest space anywhere dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art in glass.

It’s hard to imagine the size of the new galleries now while the walls  are being poured, so we tested out the scale with a Museum favorite – Karen LaMonte’s Evening Dress with Shawl. While no actual glass was moved into the construction zone, it’s fun to imagine what objects will look like in the new day lit space.

It’s hard to imagine the size of the new galleries now while the walls  are being poured, so we tested out the scale with a Museum favorite – Karen LaMonte’s Evening Dress with Shawl. While no actual glass was moved into the construction zone, it’s fun to imagine what objects will look like in the new day lit space.

Here are a few more photos of the process.

The crane moves a tool box up onto the platform of the 26,000 sq ft gallery space.

The crane moves a tool box up onto the platform of the 26,000 sqft gallery space.

It is hoped that the plastic owl will scare away the pigeons.

It is hoped that the plastic owl will scare away the pigeons.

To learn more about the North Wing expansion project, visit cmog.org/expansion.

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John Cowden works with special projects at The Corning Museum of Glass and supported the Hot Glass Show Innovation theater construction project in his retirement. Cowden was a supervisor and narrator at the Hot Glass Show from 1999 to 2011. Before joining the Museum, Cowden had more than 10 years of experience in the field of glassworking, primarily using cold working techniques, processes such as slumping, making molds, grinding, and polishing, where time is not a pressure.