Steven Holl Architects’ Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Wins 2008 AIA Institute Honor Award

Today the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has bestowed one of its most prestigious awards, the AIA 2008 Institute Honor Award for Architecture, upon the addition to The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City designed by Steven Holl Architects.

Annually, the Institute Honor Awards program recognizes a select number of buildings with this important prize in order to elevate the general quality of architecture practice, establish a standard of excellence against which all architects can measure performance, and inform the public of the breadth and value of the architecture practice.

Regarding The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art the jury commented, “This ingenious design solution encompassing a new building and landscape as the addition preserves the integrity of the original structure while charting a fresh new direction for museums. With light as the consummate inspiration for the orientation and forms of the building, the solution transforms galleries and lobby, day or night, and endows the asymmetry of the plan with a sense of logic. The museum’s details have been meticulously crafted and casework blended into the wall surfaces so subtly as to be invisible.”

Previously the addition to The Nelson-Atkins Museum which opened its doors to the public on June 9th 2007, has been honored with several other prestigious awards including the New Built Award by LEAF London, the AIA Central States Award for Excellence in Architecture, the AIA Kansas Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture and five AIA Kansas City Awards for Craftsmanship.

The addition to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, MO), designed by Steven Holl and senior partner Chris McVoy, runs along the eastern edge of the museum campus and provides a counterpoint to the original 1933 Beaux-Arts building. Five lenses of glass walls emerge from the ground and create a luminous, undulating interplay between architecture, landscape and art. The new 165,000-square-foot expansion increases museum space by more than 70 percent and features a cascading level of expansive, light-filled galleries.