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Taylor & Syfan Consulting Engineers | MOXI – Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation

Member Spotlight:
Taylor & Syfan Consulting Engineers

MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, located in Santa Barbara, CA, is the first LEED Gold certified museum in Santa Barbara County. As part of the design team, T&S worked closely with the architect, AB Design Studios, to develop a creative and efficient structural system comprised of concentric braced frames, moment resisting frames, reinforced masonry shearwalls, and exposed custom steel trusses. One noteworthy design element was the 720 square foot glass floor deck at the rooftop which we supported with long-spanning steel tube members designed with aesthetics in mind and exposed to the courtyard below. The museum opened just over a year ago and their mission is “…to ignite learning through interactive experiences in science and creativity. As Santa Barbara’s newest hands-on destination for families and curious minds of all ages, MOXI is a place where you can explore and discover new things about the world around you, ask questions, seek answers and have a blast doing so. The team included: Architect: Ab Design Studios, Structural Engineer: Taylor & Syfan, General Contractor: Armstrong Associates, Landscape Architect: Van Atta Associates, MEP: Mechanical Engineering Consultants, Civil Engineer: Flowers & Associates, Electrical Engineer: JMPE, and Lighting Design: Ann Kale Associates, Ltd.

Key Challenges & Solutions:

The site soils had potential for liquefaction due to a high groundwater table and subsurface land layers.  In lieu of a deepened pile foundation system, an efficient concrete mat slab foundation was chosen to provide the required strength and stiffness to support he building loads and limit differential settlement.

The need for large open spaces to accommodate future exhibits dictated an open floor plan.  For structural efficiency, the long-spanning steel framing members were designed as composite beams (integrated with the concrete deck) which allow us to use lighter steel section while also limiting floor deflections.

Designed structural to support a number of unique exhibit elements:

  • giant handprint globe suspended from roof structure
  • giant guitar anchored to foundation system
  • hyperloop mounted to exterior wall of structure
  • color mixing machine wheel braced to steel frame at entry glazing.

The curved staircase near the entrance of the building was designed with custom rolled HSS tube stringers, computer modeled to ensure strength and performance at this critical element of the structure.

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Taylor & Syfan’s Expert Tip:

Hire a quality team of consultants (Arch, Engineer, Civil, etc.), this is a big reason this project was so successful!

SBCA Members Who Participated in this Project

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