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SuperMarine Building Renovation

Structural retrofit and expansion of long-span structure with two wings and large open central space. Nonlinear modeling of additional decks and required braces. 54,700 sf.

Weidlinger Associates was the structural engineer for a renovation of the SuperMarine complex at Santa Monica Airport, which housed the "Museum of Flying" in its west wing until it became Volkswagen/Audi's North America Design Center. Vintage airplanes were suspended from the building structure and floor levels of the former Museum of Flying.

The 45-foot-high, three-story long-span steel truss and plate girder structure has a central atrium. The two wings are separated by a two-story, 100-foot-wide x 125-foot-long breezeway topped by the east wing's third-floor level. That level is seismically isolated from the west wing at its west end. The breezeway had been enclosed by a storefront to create additional interior space for displaying aircraft.

The renovation included an addition to the breezeway observation mezzanine and an increase in the usable space on the west wing's second and third floors. New steel-braced frame and drill-in-place concrete-pile foundations supplemented the building's existing lateral-resisting system, meeting the intent of building code seismic design requirements. Modification of the building's gravity framing system included the removal of existing columns and addition of new long-span steel plate girders. A 60 x 45-foot pyramid-shaped skylight was erected to seal off the atrium between the first and second floors. The skylight was designed as a smoke barrier to meet fire department requirements for area separation.

Completion Date: 2006
Location: Santa Monica, California
Owner or Client: Volkswagen/Audi
Prime Consultant(s): Wolcott Interior Planning and Design

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