NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A groundbreaking was held for the $14 million Bollinger Canopy of Peace, which will serve as the defining architectural feature of the National World Museum and the newest distinctive addition to the New Orleans skyline, news outlets reported.
Work began Wednesday on the bright white canopy that’ll be about a dozen stories high, news outlets reported.
The Canopy_a steel lattice framework supporting Teflon-coated fiberglass panels_will be 482 feet (147.9 meters) long and 134 feet (40.8 meters) wide, held aloft by four steel legs anchored in more than 1,260 cubic yards of concrete, according to a news release.
The sprawling three-pointed expanse was designed as a visually unifying feature for buildings that make up the museum, The Advocate reported. It will partially shade the interior of the museum’s 6-acre (2.4-hectare) campus during the day and will be programmed with colored lighting that officials say could make the museum a destination in the evenings when the canopy is completed in November.
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The canopy’s steel is zinc-coated and made up of a frame-and-truss system that has been tested in a wind tunnel. The museum said it exceeds American Society of Civil Engineers safety standards to withstand the most extreme tropical storm winds.
The 825-ton structure was designed as a visually unifying feature for the buildings that make up the museum, which started as a modest endeavor to commemorate the June 6, 1944, Allied invasion of Normandy using New Orleans-built Higgins boats, The Advocate reported. But, it has blossomed to become the official museum of the U.S. involvement in World War II.
The canopy was designed by the New York-based firm Voorsanger Mathes and made possible with a 2015 gift from longtime museum trustee Donald T. “Boysie” Bollinger and his wife, Joy.
The canopy’s architect, Bart Voorsanger, said he wanted the design to represent the notion of peace through strength. The former first lieutenant in the United States Army said two of the four legs come together before they contact the earth, creating an asymmetry that signifies the complexity of the path to peace.
“Like the Museum as a whole, the canopy will celebrate America’s strength when we all come together with hopes of securing peace and liberation,” Voorsanger said.
The museum is entering the final stretch of its development into a $400 million complex.