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Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Campus redevelopment update: Kinder Building breaks ground
May 31, 2017 Groundbreaking for the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building. From left to right: Chris McVoy, architect; Anne Duncan, vice chair, board of trustees; Nancy Kinder; Gary Tinterow, MFAH director; Richard D. Kinder, chair, board of trustees; Steven Holl, architect. Photo by Wilson Parish.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, today broke ground on the Nancy and Rich Kinder building for modern and contemporary art, designed by Steven Holl Architects.

The 165,000-square-foot structure will house 54,000 square feet of gallery space for exhibitions and for the Museum’s collections of modern and contemporary art. The building will be clad in a translucent-glass exterior, which will glow when lit from within at night, and its perimeter will be inset with six pools of water at ground level. Additional features include a 200-seat theater, a café, a restaurant overlooking the sculpture garden, and an underground parking garage. One pedestrian tunnel will connect the Kinder building to the new Glassell School of Art, and a second will connect it to the existing Caroline Wiess Law Building, across Bissonnet Street.

The 14-acre redesign of the Museum’s Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim Campus—which, in addition to the Kinder building, features the new Glassell School of Art, also by Steven Holl Architects, a landscape plan with multiple public plazas, by Deborah Nevins & Associates, and the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Center for Conservation, by Lake | Flato Architects—will expand the role the Museum plays in the daily life of Houston, not only as a cultural institution but as an urban oasis open to all, invigorating the surrounding area. The entire project is slated for completion in late 2019. The combined capital and endowment campaign has reached nearly $390 million, more than 85 percent of its $450-million goal.

Timeline: Additional Components of the Sarofim Campus Project
Glassell School of Art, January 2018 Steven Holl Architects, New York

An 80,000-square-foot, L-shaped structure constructed from pre-cast concrete slabs and glass panels; the building will house studios for students, an arrival and departure hall for all school groups, a café, and an auditorium. Its design features two outdoor gathering spaces along its sloping roofline: a walkable roof terrace above, and an amphitheater at ground level.

Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza, January 2018 Deborah Nevins & Associates, New York
Adjacent to Glassell School, a public gateway to the Sarofim Campus, featuring a 36,000-squarefoot public plaza with moveable seating, shade trees and a reflecting/splash pool. Additional landscape planning for the entire campus is under way.

Sarah Campbell Blaffer Conservation Center, late 2018
Lake | Flato Architects, San Antonio

A one-story, 30,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art conservation center, housing studios and offices for the Museum’s art conservators and scientists in a steel-and-glass structure that is set atop a Museum garage, with a public café at street level.

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