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InsIde the MuseuM of fIne Arts, houston's BrAve new KInder BuIldIng By catherine D. anspon (Continued on page 78) D uring my time at this desk, the texas museum world has added many crown jewels. new buildings and new museums have amplified the cultural landscape in Dallas (nasher sculpture center, 2003; Dallas contemporary, 2010); Fort Worth (the Modern, 2002; Kimbell art Museum renzo piano pavilion, 2013); austin (Blanton Museum of art, 2006); san antonio (Mcnay art Museum stieren center, 2008; ruby city, 2019); and houston (Museum of Fine arts, houston's audrey Jones Beck Building, 2000; asia society texas center, 2012; houston Museum of african american culture, 2012; Menil Drawing institute, 2018). For me, the opening of the MFah Beck Building 20 years ago last spring remains a high point. the Beck changed the paradigm of a museum that, under the nearly 30-year directorship of the late peter Marzio, grew to become one of america's great encyclopedic collecting institutions. By doubling its space by 150,000 square feet, that building made it possible for the MFah to hone its collections of photography and european, ancient, and american art. it also went deep on decorative art and design and, most importantly, charted new territory in asian art, the islamic world, and began its pioneering role in the field of Latin american art. now, less than a generation later, a transformative third museum building arrives at the MFah, completing the susan and Fayez s. sarofim campus. as you read these pages, the MFah will have just unveiled its steven holl architects-designed nancy and rich Kinder Building, staking its claim to being the most significant museum in the south and the West while capping the largest cultural project in north america. Bold Architecture While not a household name like Frank Gehry or renzo piano, steven holl falls into the starchitect category for his bold ability to sculpt space and transform concrete. For evidence of that, look no further than holl's other statement building for the MFah sarofim campus: the Glassell school of art (2018), whose defining feature — its dramatic concrete staircase — is both a work of architecture and a functional sculpture. For the Kinder, holl has an even bigger playing field — 183,528 square feet — and delivers a museum building that strides into the new decade with swagger and beauty. the dramatic and the elegant co- exist in this dynamic building, whose swooping roofline resembles an abstract jigsaw puzzle. holl then added fluted glass pillars, which soften the aggressive stance of the concrete façade. at night, the entire edifice is enveloped in the soft glow cast by the illuminated flutes of glass, lighting designed by nyc-based L'observatoire international. inside, materials are carefully considered and dialogue with the heroic volumes of the space to create moments of intimacy, warming up the chilly white concrete. one of the A once-In-A-generAtIon MuseuM Rises in Texas epIc ArchItecture + MInd-BlowIng Art: BOTH KINDER BUILDING IMAGES © RIcHARD BARNES, cOURTESy MFAH Steven Holl Architects' Nancy and Rich Kinder Building, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 76

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