GLASSELL SCHOOL OF ART, MFAHHouston, United States of America 2018
PROGRAM: school of art
CLIENT: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
93,000 sq ft
1) The ‘L’ shape of the building overall is a campus space defining geometry, relating to the whole of the campus and providing the inclined plane access to the campus overlook terrace.
2) Structure: the precast concrete structural elements, made in Waco, Texas, hold up the floors and define the exterior, incorporating the angle of the main incline. They also allude to the adjacent sculpture garden walls angled by Isamu Noguchi.
3) The entry to the ‘L’-shaped building is placed at the main interior corner and is defined by a dissolution of the structure: an opening up which set the exhibition forum in torsion climbing vertically to the roof terrace overlook
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston redevelopment has the unique chance to expand the museum’s campus as an integral experience open to the community. Horizontal activity, transparency and porosity will unify the new MFAH, and provide inspiring and inviting public spaces. The lush Houston vegetation, refreshing sound, and reflections in water are all part of a new campus experience elevating the poetry of art.
The new ‘L’-shaped Glassell school shapes the Brown Foundation Plaza which extends the space of the Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden by Isamu Noguchi.
The inclined plane of the roof shapes an amphitheater and a public path to a rooftop garden overlooking the whole MFAH campus.
There are 3 gallery spaces in the building:
1) At the ground level café space overlooking the plaza
2) At the Education Court connecting to a sculptural tunnel to the future Nancy and Rich Kinder Building
3) At the top of the forum on the second floor
The main entry opens to a cascade of levels at the forum shaping an informal learning space directly opening to a 75 seat auditorium.
There are 23 studios shared between the Core Program and Junior School and 8 core-fellow studios. All of these have been designed with flexibility, great light, and fine proportions.
We are very enthusiastic about the simple planar structural pieces of sandblasted concrete which begin with the angle of the inclined roof plane and give character to the inner spaces of the building in the spirit of simplicity and directness employed by Mies Van der Rohe’s original building. The concrete planes alternate with large translucent panels to provide ideal diffuse light to the studios. As an educational building it tells us how it is made. Winston Churchill said “First we shape our buildings, and then they shape us.”
We sincerely hope our new Glassell architecture contributes to the optimistic shaping of future education in the arts for Houston and beyond.
- 16 May 2018: The New Glassell School of Art is Making Headlines
- 14 May 2018: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Completes First Phase of Campus Redevelopment Project with Glassell School of Art
- 08 February 2018: The Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston will open May 20th
- 14 November 2017: New Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Glassell School of Art Will Open May 2018
- 10 October 2017: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Glassell School of Art Celebrates Topping Out
- 15 October 2015: Steven Holl Architects breaks ground for the Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
- Steven Holl ( design architect, principal )
- Chris McVoy ( senior partner in charge )
- Olaf Schmidt ( project architect, senior associate )
- Yiqing Zhao ( project architect - Glassell School of Art )
- Rychiee Espinosa ( project architect - Glassell School of Art )
- Filipe Taboada ( project architect - Kinder Building, associate ) Xi Chen, Suk Lee, Maki Matsubayashi, Elise Riley, Christopher Rotman, Alfonso Simeo, Yasmin Vobis (project team)
- associate architects
- project manager
- structural engineers
- MEP engineer
- lighting consultant
- climate engineers
- cost estimator
- facade consultant
– Steven Holl Architects
– Kendall/Heaton Associates
– Guy Nordenson and Associates; Cardno Haynes Whaley
– ICOR Associates
– L'Observatoire International
– Venue Cost Consultants
– Knippers Helbig