Architect: Building Design Consultants Ltd, Cayman.
In order to protect the collection of classic motorcars and motorbikes in the exhibition from hurricanes and ocean storm surge, the building was conceived as a reinforced concrete box with the ground floor slab at 22 feet above sea level. For additional security, we used FEMA tornado resistant fire exit doors and the reinforced gates to the exhibition hall have secondary impact resistant roller shutter protection.
The architectural challenge was to create a robust structure which did not have the appearance of a bunker and which fitted into the West Bay architectural context.
The architectural form of the building was influenced by traditional Caymanian architecture and incorporates a dual pitched Caymanian roof which makes reference to traditional buildings in the locality.
We reduced the scale and mass of the building by incorporating features such as a recessed “porch” in front of the entrance gates to the exhibition hall, a gabled-hip roof feature at each end of the main roof structure, a four-gabled tower for visibility and signage and three smaller gables along each side of the building.
We also incorporated a number of whimsical features into the building façades such as the red “steering wheel” in each gable, the red “hub caps” at the top of each column and the steering wheel door handles on the entrance gates to the exhibition hall.
This is the first building in Cayman to use Flowers 12” concrete masonry units. The masonry walls have an unsupported height of 17’- 4” and are designed for in-plane and out-of-plane bending and shear.
The structure was designed using a wind importance factor of 1.15 and the circular concrete columns in the exhibition hall were designed for an uplift wind combination of 20,000 lbs.
Pre-engineered timber truss girders were fabricated using 5 ply 2 x 12 top and bottom chords bolted together. The plywood sheathing was designed for combination of in-plane diaphragm forces and uplift forces and is fastened with approximately 27,480 10d common nails and 21,080 #10 wood screws.
There is an extra large attic space above the exhibition space to accommodate the mechanical (air-conditioning) equipment.