museum of fine arts, houston expansion by steven holl architects
 
museum of fine arts, houston expansion by steven holl architects
jan 15, 2015

museum of fine arts, houston expansion by steven holl architects

in summer 2015, the museum of fine arts, houston will start its transformation with a new master plan: two new buildings, designed by steven holl architects; a new conservation center, designed by lake|flato architects; and a landscape plan that knits together a century’s worth of signature architectural structures.

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view of the campus from the glassell school of art’s rooftop garden
courtesy of steven holl architects

 

 

 

 

the fayez s. sarofim campus 
redesign by steven holl architects
construction starts 2015-2019

 

 

 

encompassing 14 acres in the heart of houston’s museum district, the museum of fine arts, houston’s campus redevelopment will be a major contribution to the city’s efforts in improving the pedestrian experience of houston. with an array of public plazas, reflecting pools, and gardens, as well as improved sidewalks, street lighting, and way-finding, the fayez s. sarofim campus provides an active setting for three significant new structures:

 

• an 80,000-square-foot home for the glassell school of art
• a 164,000-square-foot-building for 20th- and 21st-century art: the nancy and rich kinder building
• a state-of-the-art conservation center: the sarah campbell blaffer foundation center for conservation
• two underground parking garages
• two new, dedicated tunnels between the nancy and rich kinder building to the caroline wiess law building, and the glassell school of art to the kinder building

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watercolor by steven holl showing his vision for the new MFAH campus 

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view of the nancy and rich kinder building entrance looking north on main street
courtesy of steven holl architects

 

 

 

the nancy and rich kinder building|
designed by steven holl architects
construction takes place 2017–2019

 

 

 

the largely translucent and transparent nancy and rich kinder building, dedicated to art after 1900, will stand in complementary contrast to the ludwig mies van der rohe-designed caroline wiess law building (1958/74) and stone façade of rafael moneo’s audrey jones beck building (2000). the exhibition building will be sited adjacent to the isamu noguchi–designed lillie and hugh roy cullen sculpture garden and across bissonnet from the law building.

 

• punctuated by seven vertical gardens with reflecting pools at ground level
• gathered under a ‘luminous canopy’ roof, its concave curves in deliberate reference to the billowing clouds that fill the ‘big sky’ of texas
• two floors and 54,000 square feet of galleries circling a three-level atrium space, with the distinctive roof allowing natural light to flood the central spaces
• addition of the 202-seat lynn and oscar wyatt theater, a  restaurant, a café, and meeting rooms

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view of kinder foundation gallery building restaurant entrance from lillie and hugh roy cullen sculpture garden
courtesy of steven holl architects

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nancy and rich kinder building, entrance lobby
courtesy of steven holl architects

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nancy and rich kinder building, second floor forum gallery
courtesy of steven holl architects

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steven holl architects, luminous canopy of the nancy and rich kinder building, watercolor

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view of the glassell school of art façade from the brown foundation, inc. plaza
courtesy of steven holl architects

 

 

 

the glassell school of art & the brown foundation, inc., plaza
designed by steven holl architects
construction takes place summer 2015–2017

 

 

 

the L-shaped glassell school of art building, constructed from a series of sandblasted, pre-cast concrete panels in a rhythm of verticals and slight angles, replaces the school’s existing, 35-year-old building.

 

• campus landscape is extended to the roof, with a stepped amphitheater leading up to a walkable, trellised roof garden
• connects to the new brown foundation, inc., plaza and provides ample outdoor space for programs and performances
• natural light in every studio
• a street-level café and art supply store for students and the public
• for the first time, all glassell school of art audiences are served under one roof, since the new building houses junior school and studio school students, as well as core program residents

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glassell school of art lobby, interior steps
courtesy of steven holl architects

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steven holl architects, glassell school of art watercolor
courtesy of steven holl architects

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the sarah campbell blaffer foundation center for conservation
image courtesy of lake|flato architects

 

 

 

the sarah campbell blaffer foundation center for conservation
designed by lake|flato architects
construction takes place 2016–2017

 

 

 

anchoring the eastern perimeter of the MFAH campus, constructed on top of the existing parking garage, will be the sarah campbell blaffer foundation center for conservation—a glass rooftop structure that will house state-of-the art conservation labs and studios.

 

• passersby will be able to glimpse the activity inside from the sidewalk below
• café installed on the ground level
• brings the museum’s conservation team together under one roof and in close proximity to the museum for the first time

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