The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s imposing and sprawling new art school is a work of art in itself, thanks to its all-concrete construction. It’s impressive inside and out, especially when you discover its formed-in-place elements, like the massive entryway staircase.
For the past two-and-a-half years, CEMEX, a leading supplier of building materials, provided tailor-made custom concrete pours to create the new Glassell School. The eye-popping 93,000sf building is built entirely out of concrete – more than 21,000 cubic yards of it! That’s also twice the size of the structure it replaced.
It’s a true work of art, with a L-shaped design with various angles, depths and exposed beams and surfaces that required several specialty concrete mixes, each demanding a different pour. Designed by Steven Holl Architects, the Glassell School comprises 178 pre-case concrete panels – all unique – with the heaviest weighing more than 42,000 pounds.
“This project really showcases what concrete can do both structurally and architecturally,” says Alexis Evans, Market Development Manager of CEMEX USA’s Texas Region. “The service schedule was demanding and challenging, so it was very important for us to deliver exactly what the customer wanted, precisely when they needed it.”
Summer school is now in session. The Glassell School is the only institution in the nation that serves artists of all ages – 8,500 students in total – from small children to professionals in the Core Program. The new facilities contain 35 classrooms in all, with state-of-the-art studios and equipment and a second floor gallery.
For more information on the Glassell School of Art, visit: www.mfah.org/visit/glassell-studio-school/new-glassell-school-art/.