Arup provided structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and geotechnical engineering services, as well as sustainability consulting, for the renovated and restored Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor. The renovation expands the museum’s presence at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and provides over 18,000ft2 of usable space, including four museum-quality galleries, an auditorium/performance venue, and classroom space for school field trips.
The museum is the first historic landmark building on Staten Island to earn LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council and meet the stringent environmental standards of the American Museum Association. The new facility utilises a closed-loop geothermal system, which uses the earth’s constant temperature and a series of circulating pumps to heat and cool the building, minimising the need for fossil fuels and reducing the museum’s annual operating costs.
The design conceives the project as a “building within a building” to achieve the required environmental conditions appropriate for a museum. With the exception of one historic cast-iron staircase, this necessitated the removal of the building’s neglected interiors and compromised structure, leaving only the original roof and exterior walls with their historic windows and surrounds intact. A new steel frame was erected inside the building’s shell. New perimeter interior walls create a liner that establishes proper thermal and moisture protection. The existing windows and surrounds were restored. New full-height interior windows, which maintain the environmental criteria and introduce natural light into the galleries, allow the visitor to view the historic windows and surrounds.