The Preservation of an American Architectural Masterpiece

Kreeger Museum

Washington, D.C.

Roof & Wall Design/Restoration

Project Profile

Project Background

  • The Kreeger Museum is a private nonprofit art museum located in the former home of David and Carmen Kreeger; its mission is to enhance the understanding and appreciation of art, architecture, and music
  • Designed by renowned architect Philip Johnson, the Kreeger Museum is among the few examples of his work in the Washington, D.C. area
  • After years of dealing with roof/wall interface issues, the museum decided to address the most problematic areas using a multilevel approach incorporating new through-wall flashing, masonry curbs, reinforced membranes, and roofing based on conceptual sketches developed by Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH)

Project Challenges

  • Roofing interfaces—the connections between roofs and building walls—are complex and often problematic, even within the simplest structures
  • The Kreeger Museum’s roof interfaces are extremely complex because of multiple roof levels, travertine rising walls, and modern balustrade assemblies that serve as a signature architectural expression

Project Approach

  • Working as a team, the Kreeger Museum, MPS, and SGH developed a design/restore approach to complete repairs while preserving the building’s original architectural appearance and minimizing impact on operations
  • Travertine balustrade components, including travertine drums and large slabs, were removed and cleaned of old asphaltic materials (roofing tars)
  • The final design integrated new through-wall stainless-steel flashing with extended drip projections and receivers to accommodate removable counterflashing, making it easier to replace future roofs
  • Travertine rising walls were supported with adjustable jacks while through-wall flashing was installed along with the masonry
  • MPS also provided repair/replacement of travertine anchors surrounding the Kreeger Museum’s new reflecting pool terrace
  • All work, including scaffolding installation and protection of art at the adjoining sculpture terrace, required careful coordination with museum staff during repairs
  • As the Kreeger building celebrates its 50th anniversary, MPS is proud to help maintain the architecture of Philip Johnson

“When work is done at the museum, specialized expertise and attention to detail are a must—and MPS delivered on all accounts. The architecture and materials at the museum are very unique, and MPS was able to resolve our issues and preserve the building for future generations.”

Peter L. Kreeger
David Lloyd Kreeger Foundation