• IN PROGRESS: Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden Expansion
  • IN PROGRESS: Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden Expansion
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Sydney & Walda Besthoff Sculpure Garden Expansion

Palmisano was selected as the Design-Assist partner alongside acclaimed architects, Lee Ledbetter and Reed-Hilderbrand, for the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden expansion.

In its effort to further unite, inspire, and engage the New Orleans community, the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) embarked upon an expansion of the renowned Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. NOMA’s initiative to expand the sculpture garden enables the museum to continue sharing significant art and artists with the broadest possible public. The anticipated completion in early 2019 signifies an important benchmark within a year of New Orleans’ tricentennial celebrations. The sculpture garden will include sites for sculpture, as well as an outdoor amphitheatre and stage, pedestrian bridges and walkways, a new gallery, and an outdoor learning environment.

The project scope includes draining of the existing lagoon and controlling water flow throughout project, excavating and site work to reshape lagoons and garden landscape, constructing of a new gallery building and amphitheater, constructing multiple bridges including a custom glass bridge and “Moses” bridge, refilling of new lagoon system.

With environmental impact a top priority for the project team, the sculpture garden expansion will emphasize the distinctive character of the Louisiana landscape. NOMA, in collaboration with the project team, has ensured that plans for the expansion incorporate vegetation indigenous to the region as a setting for the experience of sculpture and the performing arts. Hundreds of trees, palmettos, and shrubs will be added to the site, aligning with the historical fabric of the landscape.

The lagoon system, a central element of the sculpture garden expansion, is intended to perform vital functions for the larger park ecosystem. NOMA will maintain the health and resiliency of the landscape by employing the best water and soil management practices while also preserving the heritage live oaks and extending the adjacent live oak canopy through the garden. These state-of-the-art strategies set the bar for water-quality improvements and re-oxygenation efforts throughout the park, while serving as a prototype for similar projects.

Our Approach

Image of NOMA Sculpture Garden site analysis of earthwork calculations of excavation and infill, created by our Senior Estimator.

Palmisano joined the project team as a preconstruction partner early-on in the project and collaborated with the New Orleans Museum of Art, Lee Ledbetter & Associates, Reed-Hilderbrand, soil scientists, engineers, and subcontractors on ideas and methods to reduce the overall estimated project cost.

Early site-logistics and cost-saving strategies proposed during the preconstruction progress:

• Furnish environmentally conscious de-watering system and temporary dam
• Supply continuous bypass pumping to maintain flow of downstream lagoon
• 14 Months of construction; potential improvement through phasing & creative ideas
• Coordinated haul routes

Press
The Advocate

The Advocate

Expanded NOMA sculpture garden will include 22 new pieces, amphitheater

Photo: Sophia Germer

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Environmental and Community Impact

Environmental Impact

With environmental impact at the forefront of NOMA’s planning, the sculpture garden expansion will emphasize the distinctive character of the Louisiana landscape. NOMA, in collaboration with Reed-Hilderbrand and Lee Ledbetter & Associates, has ensured that plans for the expansion incorporate vegetation indigenous to the region as a setting for the experience of sculpture and the performing arts. Hundreds of trees, palmettos, and shrubs will be added to the site, aligning with the historical fabric of the landscape.

The lagoon system, a central element of the sculpture garden expansion, is intended to perform vital functions for the larger park ecosystem. NOMA will maintain the health and resiliency of the landscape by employing the best water and soil management practices while also preserving the heritage live oaks and extending the adjacent live oak canopy through the garden. These state-of-the-art strategies set the bar for water-quality improvements and re-oxygenation efforts throughout the park, while serving as a prototype for similar projects.

Community and Programming

The expansion will enable NOMA to offer increased programming and learning environments for offerings like film screenings, theater productions, musical performances, events, tours, and festivals. An outdoor classroom at the north edge of the garden will provide a flexible and informal gathering space, offering opportunities for classes, special projects, and enrichment.

Environmental and Community Impact

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