The campus of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is being transformed 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 by Deborah Nevins & Associates that knits together a century’s worth of signature architectural structures.
The project’s Glassell School of Art and Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza open Sunday, May 20, 2018.
Questions about the campus redevelopment? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713.830.5280.
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Questions? Contact Caroline Brantley Williams at email@example.com or 713.639.7874.
The Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim Campus
Encompassing 14 acres in the heart of Houston’s Museum District, the MFAH campus-redevelopment project is a major contribution to the city’s efforts to improve 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 Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim Campus provides an active setting for three significant new structures:
• An 85,000-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
Additional key elements
• A renewed Cullen Sculpture Garden; designed by Isamu Noguchi, it is currently undergoing a restoration that will be completed by summer 2018
• Two underground parking garages
• Two new, dedicated tunnels between the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building and the Caroline Wiess Law Building, and between the Glassell School of Art and the Kinder Building
The Glassell School of Art & The Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza
Designed by Steven Holl Architects,
with plaza designed by Deborah Nevins & Associates in collaboration with Nevins & Benito Landscape Architecture, D.P.C.
Now open as of Sunday, May 20, 2018
The L-shaped building is constructed from a series of sandblasted, pre-cast concrete panels, alternated with panes of glass, in a rhythm of verticals and slight angles.
Highlights of the New Glassell School of Art
• Fronts onto the Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza and provides ample outdoor space for programs and performances
• A street-level coffee bar for students and the public
• All Glassell School of Art students are served under one roof for the first time, since the new building houses both the Junior School and Studio School, as well as Core Program residents
• The BBVA Compass Roof Garden, a sloping, walkable green roofline offering dramatic views of the Sarofim campus
On Sunday evening, May 6, two trees were removed from Bissonnet Street, in front of the Caroline Wiess Law Building. Every effort has been made to preserve all of the trees throughout the 14-acre campus during the five-year redevelopment project. Unfortunately the roots of these two trees extended too far down for the trees to survive the construction of the below-ground pedestrian walkway that is currently being constructed between the Law Building and the site of the future gallery building.
The MFAH investigated building the tunnel in a different location, but the presence of significant water lines and other utilities under Bissonnet Street prohibited relocation. The Museum has requested and received City of Houston approval for the trees’ removal. The MFAH expansion plans include a significant addition of greenspace, including planted medians on Bissonnet Street between Montrose Boulevard and Main Street. Any questions or concerns about the campus redevelopment project may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or 713.830.5280.
The Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation Center for Conservation
Designed by Lake|Flato Architects
Completion: Late 2018
Anchoring the eastern perimeter of the MFAH campus, constructed on top of the existing parking garage, the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation Center for Conservation will house state-of-the art conservation labs and studios.
Highlights of the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation Center for Conservation
• Brings the Museum's conservation team together under one roof and in close proximity to the Museum for the first time
• Passersby will be able to glimpse some of the activity inside from the sidewalk below
The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building
Designed by Steven Holl Architects
Completion: Early 2020
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).
Highlights of the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building
• Gathered under a “luminous canopy” roof, its concave curves in 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
• Features the 202-seat Lynn and Oscar Wyatt Theater, a restaurant, and a café
• Punctuated by seven gardens and six reflecting pools