Steven Holl Architects Celebrates 9 Year Anniversary of the Nelson Atkins Museum Opening with New Photos by Iwan Baan

Nine years ago today, Steven Holl Architects celebrated the opening of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Bloch Building. The winning design in an international competition in 1999, the addition is composed of five interconnected structures that traverse from the museum’s original 1933 building across the sculpture park. From the movement through the landscape, the five glass “lenses” form new spaces and angles of vision, while bringing different qualities of light to the galleries below.

‘By subtly interweaving his building with the museum’s historic fabric and the surrounding landscape, (Steven Holl) has produced a work of haunting power. For the art world, the addition, known as the Bloch Building, should reaffirm that art and architecture can happily coexist. (…) He has created a building that sensitizes visitors to the world around them. It’s an approach that should be studied by anyone who sets out to design a museum from this point forward.’

– Nicolai Ouroussoff, New York Times Architecture Critic, 2007

Photographer Iwan Baan recently revisited the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to document how it has evolved with the museum’s collection, and has become an integrated part of the community.

“The earth rises up between blocks of light carving meaning in spaces for art still nine years new… Architecture of joy! The joy of Architecture!”

– Steven Holl, Principal – June 8, 2016

“It is inspiring to see in Iwan’s new photos how well the Bloch Building is used, bringing the museum experience for the public into the landscape, shaping space and light for engaging the art.”

– Chris McVoy, Senior Partner – June 8, 2016

In 2017, the Nelson-Atkins Museum will celebrate the ten year anniversary of the Bloch Building’s opening with a series of public events and lectures. For more information on upcoming events, please visit