Two Texas Groundbreakings

John Hill
9. June 2017
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Image: of Steven Holl Architects)

Projects by Steven Holl Architects and Adjaye Associates recently broke ground in Houston and San Antonio, respectively.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston broke ground on June 1st for its new 164,000-square-foot Nancy and Rich Kinder Building, one of two buildings designed by Steven Holl as part of the institution's $450 million expansion, which was unveiled in January 2015. The smaller Glassell School of Art is currently under construction and will open in January 2018. The buildings are two new components in the MFAH's 14-acre Fayez S. Sarofim Campus, which includes buildings by Mies van der Rohe (1958) and Rafael Moneo (2000), and a new conservation center designed by Lake|Flato Architects.

In a press release on the groundbreaking, Holl describes the Kinder Building as "shaped by gardens of horizontal porosity... Seven gardens slice the perimeter, marking points of entry and punctuating the elevations." Furthermore, "Concave curves, imagined from cloud circles, push down on the roof geometry, allowing natural light to slip in with precise measure and quality, perfect for top-lit galleries."

Completion of the entire MFAH campus redevelopment project is slated for late 2019.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Image: of Steven Holl Architects)

About 200 miles straight west of Houston and one day earlier, Adjaye Associates broke ground on its new ruby-colored home for the Linda Pace Foundation. Ruby City, as the $16 million project is being called, was unveiled in September 2015 as a 14,000-square-foot, two-story building to house the Foundation's more than 800 paintings, sculptures, installations, and video work. 

The ruby color was a vision that appeared to the late Linda Pace, who strongly believed in the symbolism of dreams. Foundation Trustee Kathryn Kanjo reiterated this during the groundbreaking: "A sparkling crimson building appeared to Linda in her sleep. Using colored-pencil, she sketched the fanciful image and shared it with David Adjaye. With his bold sense of volume and materials, David has interpreted Linda's dream city into a faceted, beckoning form, a Ruby City."

The building is slated for completion in late 2018, coinciding with San Antonio’s tricentennial celebrations. A public opening and inaugural exhibitions are planned for early 2019.

Ruby City (Images courtesy of Linda Pace Foundation and Adjaye Associates)

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