Simbha

Museum of Fine Arts Houston Expansion

366 posts in this topic

I was at the MFAH yesterday looking at the Ife exhibit and got into a conversation with one of the attendants. She told me about a new MFAH wing/building slated to start construction in early-2011. I hadn't heard this before.

According to her, the new facility will house modern and contemporary art. When I expressed surprise about this - given that the CAM is right there - she indicated that the CAM didn't "want to play ball" so the MFAH is going forward with this plan.

The purported site is next to the Presbyterian church - where the surface lot across Binz now stands.

Can anyone confirm this? Sorry if I'm behind the times. I didn't see this posted anywhere else...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does this have anything to do with the Duncan Family Wing? If so, it's already being discussed in another thread.

What did she mean they didn't want to play ball? They wanted them involved somehow, did she say?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does this have anything to do with the Duncan Family Wing? If so, it's already being discussed in another thread.

What did she mean they didn't want to play ball? They wanted them involved somehow, did she say?

The Duncan Family Wing is at HMNS. I would venture a guess this new MFAH wing might carry the Glassell name since an enormous share of Alfred Glassel Jr's estate - about $200 million, I believe - went to the MFAH.

I don't know what the "playing ball" issue is either. The CAM is committed to be a non-collecting entity. Housing the MFAH's collection might have felt like an infringement on their mission and their independence.

Edited by Porchman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know about any CAMH drama, but yes, that's about where the MFAH expansion is planned. Also, there are plans (and i do mean plans and nothing more at this time) to expand where Glassell currently has its parking lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to know I wasn't just spreading unsubstantiated rumors. Again, I can't really comment on the whole "not playing ball" thing as it was a short conversation. Porchman's suggestion seems possible.

Anyone know of any renderings?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It has long been rumored there will be a new building dedicated to their collection of contemporary art, however, to my knowledge there have been no official announcements about a new MFAH building.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is far more than just rumor, but also seems unlikely that construction would be starting early next year. Here is a quote from the MFAH's 2008-2009 Annual Report:

The Long-Range Planning Committee . . . directed the planning of a new building

for conservation and storage. This facility will replace the

current MFAH storage and support buildings, which are

no longer adequate for housing the increasing volume of

the permanent collections. Final plans will be completed

during the next fiscal year.

This committee also continued its search for an architect

to design the new museum building for modern and contemporary

art. The curatorial staff has worked intensely on broad

ideas for the program of this future facility. Our goal is to

select the architect and to begin the design process in the

next fiscal year.

The "next fiscal year" to which they refer would have ended on June 30, 2010. So, with their "goal" being to select an architect and begin the design process during that year, it seems quite unlikely that they would be ready to start construction in early 2011, especially since there has been no word of the selection of an architect, let alone a capital campaign to fund the construction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the Chron...

http://www.chron.com...an/7583567.html

The new building will house post-1900 art. Not sure if this is going up on the parking lot about a block north of Bissonnet on Montrose. The article suggest just across Bissonnet from the main museum buildings.

Edited by august948

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent new, IMO. I wonder what the name will be... It's possible it's named for the Alfred Glassell, Jr or even Peter Marzio himself - or another major donor, if one emerges.

It's exciting to see some great names being batted around for the design firm.

To the mods: This topic may be best merged with (the?) original topic found here: http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/24047-new-mfah-building.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent new, IMO. I wonder what the name will be... It's possible it's named for the Alfred Glassell, Jr or even Peter Marzio himself - or another major donor, if one emerges.

It's exciting to see some great names being batted around for the design firm.

To the mods: This topic may be best merged with (the?) original topic found here: http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/24047-new-mfah-building.

I'd put my money on Peter Marzio.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent new, IMO. I wonder what the name will be... It's possible it's named for the Alfred Glassell, Jr or even Peter Marzio himself - or another major donor, if one emerges.

It's exciting to see some great names being batted around for the design firm.

To the mods: This topic may be best merged with (the?) original topic found here: http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/24047-new-mfah-building.

Done.

I hope the new building is more of a success than the Beck. Marzio went the "starchitect" route with the latter and I think it turned out a fairly major disappointment design-wise.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Done.

Thanks. Just out of curiosity -- How are the number of views of a topic on the forum affected by topic merges? Does the system just sum the views?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope the new building is more of a success than the Beck. Marzio went the "starchitect" route with the latter and I think it turned out a fairly major disappointment design-wise.

I like the design of the Beck - but I understand that (perhaps 'objectively') it was a disappointment to many. I hope the design of the new building bridges the spaces around it well - specifically, the Law building, the Beck building, the Methodist church, the Presbyterian church, and the sculpture garden.

Perhaps I'm too optimistic... dry.gif That's a lot to ask...

Edited by Simbha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Groovy, I can't wait to see a rendering.

According to the article, the timeline is 5-7 years and they (MFAH) aren't exactly sure what they want the museum to be so we may be waiting for a little while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the absence of renderings, here are some shots of contemporary art museums which Holl's firm has designed around the world.

I've also provided square footage for each building. The plot for the new building is around the same size as that for the Beck Building, which has roughly 190,000 square feet of floor space.

All the images I've posted below are from the website of Steven Holl Architects. I've chosen one exterior view and one interior view in each case. More images of each can be found on the website itself (here).

Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Herning Denmark

Size: 56,000 sqft

Status: Completed

146AA20090905D0249-WHOR.jpg

herning_art_sha_3678-WHOR.jpg

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Addition and Restoration), Kansas City, MO

Size: 165,000 sqft

Status: Completed

RH1625-185---W-PROJECT-HORI.jpg

RH1625-117---W-PROJECT-VERT.jpg

Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland

Size: 130,000 sqft

Status: Completed

Front-day---W-PROJECT-HORIZ.jpg

98-047-14B---W-PROJECT-HORI.jpg

While not a museum of contemporary art, the Museum of Natural History in LA is in its design phase and may offer clues regarding elements which may find their way into the MFAH expansion:

Museum of Natural History of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

Size: 80,000 sqft

Status: Design

montage3---W-PROJECT-HORIZO.jpg

interior2---W-PROJECT-HORIZ.jpg

Edited by Simbha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So we can expect a cold feeling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it is for the modern collection. So we shouldn't expect it to be too classical looking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now