International Spy Museum

The International Spy Museum (SPY) is the only public museum in the United States solely dedicated to the tradecraft, history and contemporary role of espionage and intelligence. Open since July 2002, it features the largest collection of international artifacts ever placed on public display.

In 2018 the museum will relocate eight blocks south to L’Enfant Plaza, inhabiting a new $50 million building which will transform SPY, the neighborhood, and the Southwest Ecodistrict. The Malrite Company and The JBG Companies collaborated on plans for the 140,000 square foot facility, which is sited directly in front of the glass atrium on the Plaza. London-based Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners is the architect.

Proposed construction increased the column loads on the Plaza by up to 2,800 kip (one kip equals 1,000 pounds-force), which necessitated retrofitting the existing foundation. Schnabel was hired by JBG to work with the structural engineer, SK&A, on the retrofit. To increase vertical load capacity, we recommended installing a group of micropiles through the existing footings. The solution was then fine-tuned by comparing 7-inch and 9.625-inch outside diameter micropiles. Each had advantages: better constructability with the smaller one and increased capacity with the larger one. Based on our findings and team discussions, we specified a hollow-core bar system consisting of a 7.87-inch diameter cross bit, T76S DYWIDAG hollow bar with 8.625-inch steel casing for the final design. A total of 70 micropiles with a design load of 200 kip compression and 140 kip tension were constructed in nine column locations.

Construction observation services were provided by Schnabel Engineering DC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Schnabel Engineering.

Renderings courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners