The amount of structural renovation required to stabilize and seismically strengthen the building was challenging. The structural work alone took two-and-a-half years to complete and involved the installation of 14 shear walls up to three ft. thick that ran from the ceiling to the basement. Due to limited site access in the highly dense Civic Center area, most of the steel had to be hand-rigged (rather than using a crane). Approximately 1,300 laborers, carpenters, ironworkers, glaziers, plasterers, masons, plumbers, fitters, electricians, and other professionals worked together to safely complete more than a million hours of construction over nearly four years.
The renovated building is composed of a concrete frame on 210 base isolators designed to allow the new landmark to withstand an 8.3 magnitude earthquake. A moat around the perimeter accommodates sway during a seismic event. Additionally, the project used 26,000 cubic yards of concrete, 6,000 tons of steel, 30,000 sq. ft. of glass, 50 miles of electrical wiring, and 11,000 sq. ft. of Italian Basaltina stone flooring. The completed space gave the museum a 30% increase in space compared to its previous location.