Breaks Ground on The Museum of Fine Arts by Steven Holl Architects

The Museum of Fine Arts

The Museum of Fine Arts
Image © Steven Holl Architects

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Breaks Ground on the Fayez S. Sarofim Campus Glassell School of Art, designed by Steven Holl Architects, launches first phase of construction for a transformational campus plan. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, formally broke ground for the Fayez S. Sarofim Campus, and also announced Deborah Nevins & Associates as the project’s landscape architect.

The Museum of Fine Arts
Image © Steven Holl Architects

Featuring the new Glassell School of Art and the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building for modern and contemporary art, both designed by Steven Holl Architects, the Sarofim Campus plan will transform the 14 acres of the MFAH property into a pedestrian-friendly cultural zone. Completion is slated for late 2019.

The Museum of Fine Arts
Image © Steven Holl Architects

Richard D. Kinder, chairman of the MFAH, commented, “We have broken ground not only on a new building for the Glassell School of Art, but also on a reimagined campus that will transform the visitor’s experience of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and create an urban oasis here in the heart of the Museum District.” “To break ground beginning with these inspiring spaces for art education is a great honor,” remarked Steven Holl.

The Museum of Fine Arts
Image © Steven Holl Architects

Artist Joseph Havel, director of the Glassell School of Art, said, “The local impact of the junior and adult schools— which combined serve some 7,000 students each year—has also been Projected campus for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Model view of the Glassell School of Art, designed by Steven Holl Architects profound, helping to create an audience for art in Houston and building a community for people of all ages who are committed to making art a more significant part of their lives.”

The Museum of Fine Arts
Image © Steven Holl Architects

Commenting on the selection of Deborah Nevins following an international search, Tinterow said, “The goal of the landscape plan for the Sarofim Campus is to create pedestrian connections among the Museum’s five principal buildings, and a series of outdoor spaces that will animate the public’s experience of these 14 urban acres.

The Museum of Fine Arts
Image © Steven Holl Architects

Deborah Nevins comes to the project with a human-centered perspective on the challenges and opportunities inherent to the brief, which is to skillfully knit together our various buildings, respecting their place, and to manage the garden and public areas as transitions between them.” Steven Holl Architects’ New Glassell School of Art: A Gateway to the Fayez S. Sarofim Campus The 80,000-square-foot Glassell School of Art will be built on the two-acre former site of the school’s 1979 building and adjacent parking lot.

The Museum of Fine Arts
Image © Steven Holl Architects

The new, L-shaped structure will define two edges of the new Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza. With an entrance fronting onto the plaza, the school’s roofline will extend downward to a stepped amphitheater with outdoor space for programs and performances, and upward to the walkable, trellised BBVA Compass Roof Garden, which will provide dramatic views of the campus. The garden is named in honor of BBVA Compass, the leading corporate donor of the campaign.

The Museum of Fine Arts
Image © Steven Holl Architects

The BBVA Compass Roof Garden is a stunning addition to Houston’s landscape,” said BBVA Compass Chairman and CEO Manolo Sánchez. “There is a reason we made this donation to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and it has as much to do with the Museum’s commitment to bringing the power of the arts to young people than anything else. This is a cosmopolitan city that must nurture the creativity of its next generation so it can push even further into the future.” The original walls of the 1986 Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden, designed by Isamu Noguchi, will anchor the southern end of the landscaped plaza.

The Museum of Fine Arts
Photo © Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts

Constructed from precast concrete panels in a rhythm of verticals and slight angles, the structure’s design allows for natural light in all 35 studios; an open, broad-stepped central staircase; and multiple exhibition spaces. In addition, the school will house offices for faculty and Museum staff; corridor galleries for the informal display of art; outdoor sculpture and ceramic spaces; a 75-seat auditorium; an education court for orientation, assembly, and dedicated drop-off for schoolchildren; and a street-level café for students and the public.

The Museum of Fine Arts
Photo © Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts

A dedicated tunnel, for pedestrians, will connect school groups and the public to the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building for modern and contemporary art when that building opens in 2019. A second tunnel, for cars, will connect the 285-space underground parking facility below the school to the 115-space underground facility in the Kinder Building. Completion of the Glassell School is expected in late 2017. Source by Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

The Museum of Fine Arts
Photo © Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts

Location: Houston, USA
Architects: Steven Holl Architects
Principal architects: Steven Holl, Chris McVoy
Design architect: Lake|Flato Architects / San Antonio
Principal architects: David Lake, Ted Flato
Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation Center for Conservation
Associate architect: Kendall/Heaton Associates, Inc. / Houston
Landscape architect: Deborah Nevins & Associates, Inc. / New York
Construction: McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. / Houston
Museum Leadership: Richard D. Kinder (Chairman), Gary Tinterow (Director)
Expected Completion Fall: 2019
Project Features:
● Master plan for the 14-acre campus, by Steven Holl Architects
● Nancy and Rich Kinder Building for modern and contemporary art,
by Steven Holl Architects
o 200-seat Lynn and Oscar Wyatt Theater
o Restaurant
● New Glassell School of Art, by Steven Holl Architects
o Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza for programs and performances;
improved sidewalks, street lighting, and way-finding on campus
o BBVA Compass Roof Garden
o 75-seat auditorium
o Street-level café
● The Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation Center for Conservation,
by Lake|Flato Architects
o Glass-enclosed studio with conservation activities visible to passersby
o Street-level café
Fully unified, animated landscape setting, by Deborah Nevins & Associates, Inc.
● Fully connected campus and 400 parking spaces underground
Fundraising Progress: $363.7 million achieved as of October 2015, primarily from Houston-based philanthropists
Project Goal: $450 million ($350 million in project costs; $100 million in endowment)
Economic Impact: The new campus is expected to generate nearly $334 million in economic activity over 20 years, with more than $2.5 million in direct, indirect, and
induced city tax revenues
Project Sequence:
2015 to 2017: Groundbreaking, construction, and completion of the Glassell School of Art
2016 to 2018: Construction and completion of the
Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation Center for Conservation
2017 to 2019: Groundbreaking, construction, and completion of the
Nancy and Rich Kinder Building; completion of campus landscape
Source an images: Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The Museum of Fine Arts
Photo © Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts
Photo © Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts
Photo © Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts

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