This weekend, on November 21, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston will officially open its long-awaited Kinder Building, which is designed by Steven Holl Architects and dedicated to showing the institution’s collection of 20th- and 21st-century art. The building is the realization of a $450 million campaign eight years in the making, which ultimately included a complete rebuild of the Glassell School of Art and a new conservation center. The project also added to the campus new underground parking garages, public plazas, and numerous artworks set in the public sphere.
“My ideas are very preliminary, so the square footages are almost irrelevant, but imagine roughly 150,000 square feet, although it may end up being bigger, perhaps as large as the Beck building, which is 200,000 square feet. Depending on how this new building is sited, you could have a 20th century/contemporary corridor, with the sculpture garden giving way to the Glassell School, which would climax with this addition.
“Current thinking would be to avoid the words modern and contemporary and think in terms of 20th and 21st centuries, beginning with a broad historical narrative. Other galleries would display intensely oriented, specific themes.”
Ultimately, the 183,528 square foot Kinder Building has provided the museum with an additional 100,000+ square feet of exhibition space. This is dedicated to the museum’s permanent collection: five thematic exhibitions top the building’s third floor, while its second floor galleries are separated by date and media. The building also features an impressive collection of works from Latin America.
The museum’s campus redevelopment project includes two new underground tunnels, meaning that all of the campus’ buildings are now connected. These two new tunnels, mirroring the MFAH’s well-known tunnel by James Turrell, feature light installations by Olafur Eliasson and Carlos Cruz-Diez.
There’s a lot to explore. See below for a photo walkthrough of the building.