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.
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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:
• A 93,000-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, has recently undergone a restoration
• Two underground parking garages; one is already open at 5101 Montrose Boulevard
• Two pedestrian 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.
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
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 Binz 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
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
• Vertical, translucent-glass tubes cladding the façades
• 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
• Seven gardens and six reflecting pools inset along the building’s perimeter