Published January 21, 2021
An Experience Like No Other
GC Products helped bring the newly opened Unites States Olympic & Paralympic Museum to life
By Jen Levisen
Explore the United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum
The United States Olympic & Paralympic Museum opened its doors July 30, 2020 — one of six museums across the country that opened amid the pandemic, according to The Washington Post. The museum – which was designed by award-winning architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro and exhibit design firm Gallagher & Associates – is a one-of-a-kind tribute to the Olympic and Paralympic movements.
The 60,000-square foot building features 12 universal and interactive galleries that were built by Creo Industrial Arts, a leader in museum fabrication. Mortarr subscriber GC Products, the leader in manufacturing architectural GFRG and GFRC, supplied the material for the ceilings and walls throughout the museum.
GFRG, glassfiber reinforced gypsum, is a composite cast material consisting of industrial-grade gypsum, continuous strand fiberglass, and additives. It is a highly durable material capable of being cast into complex architectural designs. GFRC, glassfiber reinforced cement, is a composite cast material consisting of cement, aggregate, alkali resistant fiberglass and additives. GFRC gives you the same look and feel of traditional cast stone without the weight limitations.
“GFRG was a perfect solution for the unique architecture of the USOPM project,” says GC Products’ Michael Coburn.
"We were able to take complex custom walls and simplify the install and finishing without sacrificing the architecture."
— Michael Coburn, GC Products
GFRG was also used in many of the displays. We even manufactured a bobsled run out of GFRG. In the end, we were able to prefabricate much of the architecture saving the contractors time and money and still delivering the desired high end architecture.”
With its universal design and technology capabilities, the Museum is one of the most accessible and interactive museums in the world. Team USA athletes were involved and consulted throughout the project to achieve the USOPM’s goal of an authentic experience and inclusive design.
“Every aspect of our design strategy [was] motivated by the goal of expressing the extraordinary athleticism and progressive values of Team USA,” said Benjamin Gilmartin, Architect and Partner at DS+R, in a press release issued by the museum. “A taut aluminum façade flexes and twists over the building’s dynamic pinwheel form, drawing inspiration from the energy and grace of Olympians and Paralympians. Inside, descending galleries are organized along a continuous spiral, enabling visitors of all abilities to have a shared, common experience along a universal pathway. After leading the museum’s design for the past six years, I’m so moved by the collective, herculean effort that allowed us to now share these stories of perseverance with the public.”
Your Admission — Explore the Museum
GC Products, Inc. is the industry leader in creating GFRG and GFRC solutions for difficult architectural designs. With an experienced management team, they are able to take your architectural concepts from design to completion. Utilizing state of the art technology, including BIM, 3-D modeling, CAD and CNC tooling, they deliver solutions that provide precise architectural features while saving time and money on installation and execution. Learn more and connect with CG Products on Mortarr.