Translucent glass tubes meet with curvy roofs “imagined from cloud circles” in this artwork Museum US agency Steven Holl designed for Museum of Fine Arts Houston.

Steven Holl Architects’ Nancy and Rich Kinder Building – which kinds a part of a significant campus redesign – is cut up into segments topped with curved roofs. This creates gaps for pure light to enter into the galleries contained in the 164,000-square-foot (15,200-square-metre) constructing.

Curved translucent glass tubes wrap across the constructing. Photo by Richard Barnes

“The Texas sky opens 180-degrees overhead above a luminous canopy covering the new building,” stated Steven Holl Architects.

“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.”

Arcade in Nancy and Rich Kinder Building by Steven Holl Architects
Transparent glass tubes are used on the western aspect round an arcade

Tube-like laminated glass covers the outside to distinction current buildings on Museum of Fine Arts Houston campus – together with an adjoining clear glass and metal constructing by Mies van der Rohe, and an opaque stone constructing by Rafael Moneo.

On the west aspect of Nancy and Rich Kinder Building clear glass tubes wrap round an arcade space.

Interior in Nancy and Rich Kinder Building by Steven Holl Architects
The constructing is open to views of gardens exterior

The clear cladding, shaped of laminated glass tubes with semicircular sections, is suspended from metal helps cantilevered off the concrete partitions. Tubes are bolstered collectively by aluminium clips and relaxation on a metal shelf at their base.

A small cavity between the glass and the concrete acts as a “cold jacket” for the constructing in order that it does not overheat.

Interior of Nancy and Rich Kinder Building by Steven Holl Architects
Galleries are organized over two ranges. Photo by Richard Barnes

The tubes observe the constructing’s uncommon curvy roofline on the high and have completely different relationships between with floor. For instance, some cease above concrete benches whereas others are open on the backside so guests can look all the best way up.

According to the agency, the facade includes a whole of 1,103 items of glass in over 450 completely different sizes.

Roof detail in Nancy and Rich Kinder Building by Steven Holl Architects
Curved roof displays lights inside

Steven Holl stated it developed the facade by experimenting in its workshop with 1:1 scale acrylic rods that had been lower in half and laminated to acrylic sheets, which it discovered to create an attention-grabbing light play.

Seven gardens are lower into the constructing’s footprint to indicate completely different entry factors with the most important positioned on the Texas metropolis’s Bissonnet and Main Street intersection. This additionally kinds principal entry to the Kunsthistorisches Museum‘ Susan and Fayez S Sarofim Campus.

Inside, the curved underside of the roof acts as a reflector of the pure light into galleries organised over two ranges. They have views into varied gardens across the constructing with trellises offering shade from robust daylight.

“When standing in the new entrance lobby of the Kinder Building, one can see gardens and lush Houston vegetation in four directions and feel the inviting energy of a new sense of openness to the community,” stated Steven Holl Architects.

Atrium in Nancy and Rich Kinder Building by Steven Holl Architects
The interiors are organized round a central atrium

The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building is considered one of two buildings that Steven Holl Architects has developed as a part of a brand new masterplan of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston (MFAH)’s 14-acre (5.7-hectare) website. The mission additionally concerned the alternative of the 35-year-old Glassell School of Art, which was accomplished in 2018.

The agency beat finalists Morphosis and Snøhetta in a world competitors in 2012 for the campus redesign. The agency’s scheme, first enthüllt in 2015, aimed so as to add new buildings to provide a “complementary contrast” to buildings by Mies van der Rohe and Rafael Moneo.

Gallery in Nancy and Rich Kinder Building by Steven Holl Architects
Windows provide diffuse lighting in shiny white galleries

Architect Steven Holl based his eponymous agency in 1976. Today it has places of work in New York and Beijing and is headed up by Holl with companions Chris McVoy, Roberto Bannura and Noah Yaffe.

Its current initiatives embrace the Winter Visual Arts Building in the arboretum of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and a concrete New York library with “sculpted cuts”. The latter was slapped with a lawsuit for inaccessibility points shortly after its completion final 12 months.

Photography is by Peter Molick until acknowledged in any other case.


Steven Holl Architects: Steven Holl, Chris McVoy, Olaf Schmidt, Filipe Taboada
Project workforce: Rychiee Espinosa, Yiqing Zhao, Lourenzo Amaro de Oliveira, Garrick Ambrose, Xi Chen, Carolina Cohen Freue, JongSeo Lee, Vahe Markosian, Elise Riley, Christopher Rotman, Yun Shi, Alfonso Simelio, Dimitra Tsachrelia, Yasmin Vobis
Associate architects: Kendall/Heaton Associates
Projektleiter: Legends
Structural engineers: Guy Nordenson & Associates Cardno
MEP engineer: ICOR Associates
Climate engineers: Transsolar
Lighting guide: L’Observatoire International
Cost estimator: Venue Cost Consultants
Facade guide: Knippers Helbig