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Kimbell Art Museum

Project description

The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas is a world-renowned building, and has won wide acclaim for its classic modern building since its opening in 1972. A second building, designed by world-renowned architect Renzo Piano and known as the Piano Pavillion, opened in 2013. The building design includes many striking features, including its roof, which spans gracefully above the large exhibit areas. To enhance the performance and aesthetic qualities the engineer and architect specified that the bearings, which support the roof and allow its movements, should be designed and positioned to be as discrete as possible.

mageba scope

In order to keep the bearings hidden from view, they had to be designed to be as small as possible. Considering the horizontal and vertical forces (including uplift forces of up to 330 kN) to be resisted by the bearings, and the movements that they would have to accommodate, RESTON-LINEAR rocker bearings were proposed. A total of 66 bearings, of types LGe and LGf, were required to safely transfer the loads and facilitate the design movements.
To ensure their quality and fitness for purpose, 10% of the bearings were tested in accordance with AASHTO rocker bearing testing specifications.

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Illustration of a RESTON-LINEAR rocker bearing as designed for this project

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Preparation of bearings for transport from the factory to the building construction site

Key Data


RESTON-LINEAR rocker bearings


All bearings designed to resist uplift forces




Forth Worth, Texas


Art museum building


Renzo Piano Building Workshop


Guy Nordenson and Associates