NMNH Sant Ocean Hall Gallery

The unique and breathtaking Sant Ocean Hall is the largest exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. McMullan provided structural engineering design and construction phase services for this 40,000 SF renovation of the central halls to accommodate the new exhibit and growing number of visitors at the museum. Structural challenges included the impact of two new escalators in this historic building which required large openings in the existing brick arch floor system, new escalator pits suspended from historic steel beams, and new foundation systems which interfered with existing stepped footings. New structural supports and modifications were also designed and detailed at the second floor and attic levels for new lighting and guardrails.

Washington, DC

Smithsonian Institution

Quinn Evans Architects

General Contractor
Associated Builders, Inc.


  • AIA Potomac Valley Honor Award for Institutional Architecture