Building The Future Together

Hunzinger Construction Company is proud to be the recipient of the Engineering New Record’s (ENR) Annual Best Projects Award in the Cultural/Worship category for its Milwaukee Art Museum Addition and Renovation project.

Company President John Hunzinger, Project Executive Jon Jansen and Project Superintendent Will Wright were joined by Nick Hunzinger, Dan Somers, Director of Facilities for the Milwaukee Art Museum and Bill Borkenhagen, Project Architect from HGA at the breakfast awards ceremony held in Chicago recently.

The ENR Regional Best Projects Awards are a series of special events to celebrate and honor the building teams that created the best projects of 2016 nationwide. These extraordinary projects are selected by juries of local prominent industry professionals recognizing outstanding design and construction in a variety of categories.  Panelists select winning projects on the basis of quality, innovation, safety and the ability of their project teams to overcome unique challenges. In all, projects are honored in categories ranging from Energy and Health Care to Education, Renovation and Transportation.

To suggest ENR Midwest judges had a challenging task determining the Regional Best Projects for 2016 would be an understatement. Close to 100 entries were received, each detailing a truly excellent construction project completed in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa or Kentucky.

The Project:  Recently, the Milwaukee Art Museum completed its new east addition along with the complete renovation of the older Saarinen and Kahler buildings housing 30,000 works of art in over 125,000 square feet of galleries. This historic $34 million project was a public private partnership between Milwaukee County and the Art Museum. Never in the history of the Art Museum had a renovation of this scope been attempted. In addition to relocating 30,000 works of art, significant public/private project coordination challenges required careful timing of repairs, seismic monitoring of the work site, and complex staging of reinstalling the art relative to construction in order to minimize the period during which the Museum’s galleries would be closed. The 16,000 square feet of new east addition finally repaired the deteriorated east elevations of the Kahler addition built in the mid 1970’s.

The Impact: For decades the Milwaukee Art Museum has dealt with deferred maintenance and deteriorating conditions in the galleries including water leaks, buckled floors, and a contaminated HVAC system. The improvements at the Art Museum finally present its world-class collection in a world class facility. The new east addition provides entry and access to the Museum directly from the Lake walk for the first time in decades. The presentation of the collection in the remodeled galleries received very positive reviews including the New York Times. Most importantly, the community now experiences a world class Museum.