This is not the first time Nelson Bros. & Strom has teamed up with an art museum for a specialized project that demonstrates their machining expertise. However, this time their work is a key architectural element inside the museum. The project combined Nelson Bros.’s machining abilities with the architect’s artistic vision, creating a truly dramatic result.
The contractor responsible for the construction of the stairwell and railings for the new Museum of Contemporary Art, on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, contacted Nelson Bros. & Strom to assist in the project due to its complexity. The architect wanted his aluminum extrusions shaped like the bow of a boat to be mounted to the steel railings. Each piece had to be mounted free-standing with no measurable gap and could not be joined with any fasteners, welding, or glue. Enter NB&S! Their reputation for being able to do any kind of machining required, was going to be tested again–and they were happy to prove it! Team Nelson & Strom stepped up to the challenge and helped design a mounting and machining method for the aluminum extrusions that would give the Architect and General Contractor what they wanted. Each aluminum section had to have a mounting pocket machined precisely in the exact locations to attach to the steel sub-structure. Each end had to have a mitered edge that needed to be machined exactly at the right length and angle to mate perfectly with the opposite piece. All the machining was performed by Nelson Bros. & Strom’s team on their large CNC Horizontal Machining Centers.
Here are a few pictures from the project: