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Menil Expansion (New Drawing Institute, Park, High-Rise and More)

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They have been taking out all of the appliances, windows, doors, a.c.'s, and anything recyclable.

Demo should be starting shortly. 

On another note,  Barnett Newman's, Broken Obelisk, has returned to its home in the Rothko Chapel pool, after spending the last 

several months at Lippincott foundry where it was originally built. They had to repair several areas due to water damage. Its comforting seeing this great work back where it belongs. They also reported that this is the first phase of a project to improve lighting landscaping building a retreat all in time for the 50th anniversary. 

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Im going to miss watching all this go on over my fence but cant wait to move into our new 1950's home in Riverside Terrace.

I watched 3 Osprey working the bend in Braes Bayou early this morning. They are amazing fishermen. I'll continue to monitor the progress on this new drawing center but won't be here to see them put the finishing touches to it.

I did notice something interesting on my side of the building last week.

They had installed a grid of boxes that apparently were for installing the skin. 

This last few days I watched them take all of them off of the building so either they weren't the right parts or they were installed in the wrong spots, but they had a crew taking them off.

Like my father in law always said," Measure twice, cut once." Those are sage words to remember when working on projects of any size.

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In my conversations with the Menil they have put that phase of the project on hold for a while. They had planned on a mixed use development with Hines but that fell through last year and so they felt they at least needed to clear the grounds around the new drawing center and make the area a temporary park space to eventually be developed. This was a casualty of the oil bust and the overdevelopment of new residential in the montrose and midtown area.

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2 hours ago, bobruss said:

In my conversations with the Menil they have put that phase of the project on hold for a while. They had planned on a mixed use development with Hines but that fell through last year and so they felt they at least needed to clear the grounds around the new drawing center and make the area a temporary park space to eventually be developed. This was a casualty of the oil bust and the overdevelopment of new residential in the montrose and midtown area.

 

It is too bad, because i am sure the menil +hines combo has some great potential.

 

The upside is that when things rebound, hopefully projects like this will be quicker to come into fruition. 

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Exactly. This will clean up the area around the new drawing center, give the Menil a window on Richmond, and give the Rothko park a break. Maybe some of 

the people will spread out to the new one.  It needs some tender loving care and I'm really frustrated about the big tree near my house that's not going to be here much longer. It is in distress and all of the people jumping, climbing and pulling on it have just about worn all of the bark off the trunk and when its gone its going to leave a big whole in the park. Ive been watching that tree since 1971 when we first lived across the street. 

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Anyone know when these apartments were built? Early 1970s?

I had my first apartment in 1991 at Richmont Square.

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Down the road they do have plans for a mixed use project with  at least a midrise on half of the property and leaving the other half for park land.

I don't know if you noticed the allee of trees that has been planted on the eastern side of the park. I'm sure its going to be beautiful once its all done.

Michael Van Valkenburg, who has worked on Turtle Creek in Dallas, and Waller creek in Houston and is know for his subtle approach, was hired to landscape the whole campus.

 

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Also I have heard rumblings that the house next to the one we just moved out of on Branard that faces the old park is going to be turned into a visiting scholar and artist home. This is right behind the new Drawing center. I cant wait till the drawing center opens.

The exhibition at the Menil is an incredible show and I highly recommend it.

It features the works that will form the base of the collection for the new drawing center.

The work is from the Louisa Sarofim, Janie C. Lee, and David Whitney collections bequeathed to the Menil and are a truly remarkable body of works.

.

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On 12/30/2017 at 6:27 PM, houstontexasjack said:

I found a link to Michael Van Valkenburgh’s landscape plan for the site. Looks as though the highrise would border Richmond and shelter a park between it and the Drawing Institute:

 

http://www.mvvainc.com/m/projects/7/112

 

 

Love the models that they did for it. You can tell they were very invested in this project.

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The Menil Museum has closed for the next year for a total  resurfacing of the floors in the Menil.

The interior non structural walls will also be removed during this project. The Menil had their closing party last night.

Edited by bobruss
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3 hours ago, bobruss said:

The Menil Museum has closed for the next year for a total  resurfacing of the floors in the Menil.

The interior non structural walls will also be removed during this project. The Menil had their closing party last night.

 

Closed until autumn 2018.

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Does anyone have insight into how the Menil plans to use the open green space between Richmond Ave. and the Menil?  Are they going to leave it "as is" and leave it open to the public or is there going to be a material investment in landscape design, new plantings, etc?  Thanks!

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1 hour ago, talltexan83 said:

Does anyone have insight into how the Menil plans to use the open green space between Richmond Ave. and the Menil?  Are they going to leave it "as is" and leave it open to the public or is there going to be a material investment in landscape design, new plantings, etc?  Thanks!

 

Pretty sure there was talk of them building a tower at one point. 

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This is very helpful.  It looks like they are planning to extend Colquitt St to Yupon.  I also like how they plan to turn the parking lot for the Flavin installation into green space and turn Loretto into a walking path only.

 

 

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The Drawing Institute opened last night and it was worth the wait. It was a little hard to get a feel for the galleries and the Jasper John show for all of the buzz.

People everywhere and the tent out front was hopping to the sounds of Zydeco Dot. 

One thing that I realized was the way the new building helps the Twombley building open up to its surroundings and the passage from the Twombley to the Drawing Institue passed the wonderful live Oak is breathtaking. 

This new vista allows the  roof of the Twombley to show off glowing in the dusk it really floats when viewing from the Drawing Institute. The main galleries are beautiful clean and simple, but a remarkable space. It fits right in with the surroundings and will truly be a magnet.

I love the way the campus is much more unified and the fact the you can see the Richmond hall across the street and the Menil tucked behind the Twombley gives the campus more depth and presence. The landscaping is nice and the open spaces contribute to the airiness. 

As we stood in the Twombley in the middle of the large gallery pretty much by ourselves I remarked how lucky we are to live in a city surrounding by a campus of world class architecture filled with important art and it's all feee. It cant get much better.

Go see it soon.

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5 hours ago, bobruss said:

The Drawing Institute opened last night and it was worth the wait. It was a little hard to get a feel for the galleries and the Jasper John show for all of the buzz.

People everywhere and the tent out front was hopping to the sounds of Zydeco Dot. 

One thing that I realized was the way the new building helps the Twombley building open up to its surroundings and the passage from the Twombley to the Drawing Institue passed the wonderful live Oak is breathtaking. 

This new vista allows the  roof of the Twombley to show off glowing in the dusk it really floats when viewing from the Drawing Institute. The main galleries are beautiful clean and simple, but a remarkable space. It fits right in with the surroundings and will truly be a magnet.

I love the way the campus is much more unified and the fact the you can see the Richmond hall across the street and the Menil tucked behind the Twombley gives the campus more depth and presence. The landscaping is nice and the open spaces contribute to the airiness. 

As we stood in the Twombley in the middle of the large gallery pretty much by ourselves I remarked how lucky we are to live in a city surrounding by a campus of world class architecture filled with important art and it's all feee. It cant get much better.

Go see it soon.

 

Saw it today. Its quite a nice building. I think the actual gallery space is a bit m e h, but I love the atriums! The use of materials is also nice. They even mimicked the wood planks that are on the original Menil at the back part of the building.

Edited by Luminare

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Drove by the south end of the complex on Richmond, and they've completely cleaned the lot where the former apartments were and put in a green chain link fence the entire length of the south side of the property. 

 

I think that their plan is still to develop residential/commercial combo along Richmond. Have to think that they'll take a bit of a breather after this rash of current activity. 

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I went on Sunday afternoon.  I expected it to be crazy busy since it just opened on Saturday, but it had surprisingly few visitors.  I really like the architecture.  Photo from the front:

 

https://i.imgur.com/KCWk4TY.jpg

 

Photo from the other side:

 

https://i.imgur.com/TnCKM7B.jpg

 

Photo inside the main hall (that "sculpture" on the left is really cool, especially the shadows it casts):

 

https://i.imgur.com/G9h0xjU.jpg

 

The empty lot next door has a couple of the "channels" in it similar to what's in the lawn just north of the main Menil building:

 

https://i.imgur.com/Lcj0qzc.jpg

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I like the design, but there is something that bugs me ... which is very common in Houston.  The first two pics show what I think is mildew, which is surprising for a new building.  I have my own ongoing battle with mildew on the concrete balconies of my condo.  Chlorine bleach applied with a stiff brush is the best solution I've found for the smooth surfaces at my place.  I suspect that solution is a bit more difficult for some of our older buildings that have facades of fossiliferous limestone (e.g., City Hall and older ones at UH).  As I recall, the facade of City Hall was cleaned by power-washing (or maybe even sand-blasting) years ago.  That's very destructive to the surface.  My place has some exterior surfaces that are artificial stone (actually cement) that some guys cleaned by power-washing, but it was obvious that the process eroded the surface and left it less smooth. 

Edited by ArchFan

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13 hours ago, ArchFan said:

I like the design, but there is something that bugs me ... which is very common in Houston.  The first two pics show what I think is mildew, which is surprising for a new building.  I have my own ongoing battle with mildew on the concrete balconies of my condo.  Chlorine bleach applied with a stiff brush is the best solution I've found for the smooth surfaces at my place.  I suspect that solution is a bit more difficult for some of our older buildings that have facades of fossiliferous limestone (e.g., City Hall and older ones at UH).  As I recall, the facade of City Hall was cleaned by power-washing (or maybe even sand-blasting) years ago.  That's very destructive to the surface.  My place has some exterior surfaces that are artificial stone (actually cement) that some guys cleaned by power-washing, but it was obvious that the process eroded the surface and left it less smooth. 

 

That is the natural material finish. What you are seeing is the light refracting off of the soffit panel that is up there and light bouncing off the rocks/plants in the atrium's. In other words its suppose to be that way. In fact because of the reflectance you can faintly see the creases of the material on the soffit panel and even on the walls. I took a bunch of photos of this building and will be posting more on my instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zewzewarch/. Its a very well designed building. It also goes along pretty well with the firms other projects. They definitely have a consistent style: http://www.johnstonmarklee.com/

 

 

Edited by Luminare

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Archfan. If your talking bout the underside of the roof, around the courtyards...that’s not mildew. Those surfaces are actually reflective which looks dark or smudged in the photos.  I also see what may appear to be growth on one of the exterior surfaces, which is a shadow of a tree.  I was there last weekend and didn’t notice any mildew, anywhere. The place is as blindingly white and a trump fever rally in a snowstorm. 

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2 hours ago, Naviguessor said:

Archfan. If your talking bout the underside of the roof, around the courtyards...that’s not mildew. Those surfaces are actually reflective which looks dark or smudged in the photos.  I also see what may appear to be growth on one of the exterior surfaces, which is a shadow of a tree.  I was there last weekend and didn’t notice any mildew, anywhere. The place is as blindingly white and a trump fever rally in a snowstorm. 

Good one !  Brought a smile to my face on a hard working Thursday LOL thank you !

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Just got back from a more relaxed and unencumbered visit. I think this building really fits well into the overall campus.

I missed the cinder plot with the Michael Heizer sculptures the other night. They take up a relatively large space just to the east of the building.

There has been discussion between the artist and the Menil in the past about the way they had installed the two earth works in the front lawn of the

Menil. He wanted it to be a perfectly flat space with cinders for a very flat clean surface with no undulation. Obviously a grass covered surface does not provide that type of surface.

Looks like they followed his wishes in the new installation. 

I also like the simple way they honored the largest donors to the building along the sidewalk up to the entrance.

 

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Is the exterior surface supposed to look like that? Looks like soggy cardboard to me with the undulating ripples.

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I don't think out is, and I'm not sure why that wasn't finished better. I noticed that a few weeks ago and I'm not sure what caused it.

Luminaire might have an answer. I would think the architects would have wished for a better job on the white walls. Everything else looks great.

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Just got the new Architectural Record and theres a beautiful cover of the Menil Drawing Institue. Almost didn't recognize it due to the golden color of the underside of the roof, from an interesting angle. I saw the rocks in the courtyard and peeled off the label and sure enough its the Menil Drawing Institute with nice story and many images of the interior  inside and exterior. Very nice presentation.

There's also a photo of the Childrens Museum in the first few pages for an obituary of Venturi. Thought it was interesting that they chose it of all his work.

Always nice to see something from Houston in a respected national magazine.

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41 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Are they going to do anything with the sidewalks on Richmond? 

 

I imagine they will redo the sidewalks when they redo all of Richmond.

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