The excitement is truly building at the convergence of Main St., Montrose Blvd. and Bissonnet St. in the Museum District. At the end of May, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston broke ground on the Nancy and Rich Kinder building for modern and contemporary art, designed by Steven Holl Architects.
It’s a transformative moment for the campus: The 165,000sf structure will house 54,000sf of gallery space for exhibitions and for the Museum’s collections of modern and contemporary art. The building will be clad in a translucent glass exterior, which will glow when lit from within at night, and its perimeter will be inset with six pools of water at ground level.
But, it’s more than just a pretty face. Additional features include a 200-seat theater, a cafe, a restaurant overlooking the sculpture garden and an underground parking garage. One pedestrian tunnel will connect the Kinder Building to the new Glassell School of Art, and a second will connect it to the existing Caroline Wiess Law Building, across Bissonnet St.
The 14-acre redesign of the Museum’s Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim Campus – which, in addition to the new Kinder Building, features the reimagined Glassell School of Art (also by Steven Holl Architects), a landscape plan with multiple public plazas by Deborah Nevins & Associates and the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Center for Conservation by Lake | Flato Architects – will expand the role the Museum plays in the daily life of Houston, not only as a cultural institution but as an urban oasis open to all, invigorating the surrounding area.
The entire project is slated for completion in late 2019. Already, the combined capital and endowment campaign has reached nearly $390 million, more than 85 percent of its $450 million goal – because Houston is philanthropic by design.