National Portrait Gallery

Washington, D.C.
Owner: Smithsonian Institution
Architect: Hartman-Cox Architects
Engineer: URS Corporation
Contract Value: $21.1 Million

The Patent Office Building, the third-oldest federal building in Washington, DC (after the White House and the Capitol), houses the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum. In 2000, a six-year renovation of the building began, restoring the Greek Revival building with the intent of making it a centerpiece of the revitalized downtown district. The completed structure will take full advantage of the building’s many exceptional architectural features, including its porticoes, colonnades, vaulted galleries, and curving double staircase. Upon the building’s reopening on July 4, 2006, new features including a 346-seat underground auditorium; a visible conservation lab and art-storage area; a café; a shared museum store; and a shared main entrance for both museums on F Street will be available to the public.

The updated, museum quality mechanical systems consist of (2) 1000 ton centrifugal chilled water refrigeration machines, approximately (60) air-handling units, over (120) fans and numerous self-contained and split system units.  There are over 600,000 pounds of ductwork and over 65,000 linear feet of HVAC piping incorporated into this project.  The automation system consists of a digital building management and control system including over 2,200 points and integration with the building electrical power, lighting, and fire alarm systems.  The plumbing systems include over 120 fixtures and 40,000 linear feet of pipe.