It was announced today that Steven Holl Architects has been selected to partner with the board and staff of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in developing an expansion that enlarges the museum’s presentation of its collections, exhibitions, and myriad educational programs. The project will entail the construction of a new museum building intended primarily for art after 1900 to complement the Audrey Jones Beck and Caroline Wiess Law Buildings. Further, the project will address the integration of the Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden and the expansion of the Glassell School of Art. A new parking facility will be added, as well.
“This is a proud moment not only for the MFAH, but for the city of Houston,” said Cornelia Long, chair of the board of trustees.
“I am tremendously excited by the prospect of working with Steven Holl and Chris McVoy of Steven Holl Architects,” said MFAH director Gary Tinterow. “Everyone on the committee was deeply impressed by the intelligence and beauty of their museum projects, and we feel certain that they will conceive a design that will match the clarity and elegance of our existing architectural landmarks.”
The new museum building will occupy a two-acre, museum-owned site currently being used as a parking lot. The property is adjacent to the Isamu Noguchi-designed Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden and to the Glassell School of Art. It is across Bissonnet Street from the Audrey Jones Beck Building, designed by Rafael Moneo, and the Caroline Wiess Law Building, designed by Mies van der Rohe. In addition to being a home for art after 1900 from the MFAH permanent collection, the new building would include galleries for traveling exhibitions, educational facilities, a library and study/resource center, lecture halls, a theater and a restaurant.
The decision follows a comprehensive international search that resulted in three firms—Steven Holl Architects, Snøhetta, and Morphosis—developing site-specific concepts for the planned expansion. Following the presentation by each firm, the long-range planning committee of the board of trustees selected Steven Holl Architects.
Steven Holl and Chris McVoy said, “We are very excited to collaborate with the MFAH to realize this exceptional museum expansion for Houston. The amazing potential of this project is an inspiring challenge. We are honored to give this work our full attention and enthusiasm. With the optimism of the new director and trustees, the MFAH is poised to realize an expanded integral campus with excellent new spaces for art.”