A First Look at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum

May 31, 2017

At the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio an iconic, cylindrical concrete superstructure is taking shape, and the project team is looking ahead to some key milestones.

"The concrete and steel structure is literally a sculpture, as well as being the primary architecture of the facility," explained Nigel Carter, senior project manager. "Our structural blueprints include limited dimensional information due to the immense complexity of the structural design, which means we are actually building the entire building directly from the 3D model." He added that every piece of formwork, rebar, structural steel and curtain wall component is unique. "Each one is fabricated specifically for its singular location," he said. 

In addition to unique, curved exhibit spaces, the 55,000-square-foot venue will feature a central Cyclorama space, a rooftop sanctuary, and a Memorial Grove, and grounds with views of the nearby Scioto River.

Even as he enjoys the sight of the structure coming together, Nigel is looking ahead to two key upcoming milestones. "First, building dry-in will really let us put our foot on the gas," he said. "That's scheduled for September. And second, there will come a time when we can begin ordering material that isn’t custom! Studs, drywall, conduit, carpet etc." He added that right now, due to the irregular curvilinear forms of the structure, nearly all on-site materials have multi-month lead times. "Buying off the shelf," he said. "That's going to be a big moment." 

Taking a step back Nigel added that the project team includes more than 30 veterans among the trade contractors. "And our lead project super, Jeff Patrick, is a veteran of the Navy, which only serves to further underscore the importance of our effort," he said. "This project is really the tip of the spear when it comes to the development of the Scioto Peninsula, just west of Downtown Columbus. We anticipate the museum will be a big draw for many different types -- service members and their families, architecture and construction enthusiasts, military history buffs, and more. The project is already an icon." 

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