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nmainguy

Museum of Fine Arts Houston Expansion

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A new building is in the talking stages for the MFA. It would mainly house the 20th century and contemporary collections.

The museum has 3 sites in mind. One is at the current garage location on Fannin. Another is across Binz from the garage and a third is north of the Mies wing off Main.

There are any number of world-class architects worthy of the job. I'd like to hear any suggestions you might have regarding the selection.

Here's a few of mine:

Renzo Piano [Menil Collection; Cy Twombly]

03big.jpg

06big.jpg

Yoshio Taniguchi [MOMA and the new Aisa Museum in Houston]

Exterior_moma.jpg

Zaha Hadid [Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, Cincinnati]

Hadid-CAC-photo-3.jpg

c3.jpg

Rem Koolhaas [seattle Public Library]

20000709mag-kool.13.jpg

Those are but a few of my choices for architect.

If you could add any pictures with your choices, that would be great.

As always,

B)

Edited by nmainguy

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Hmm, out of those, I think I would go with either Yoshio Taniguchi or Zaha Hadid.

Hadid has done some fantastic work but she has a reputation for being "difficult". That may be because she is a successful woman in a man's world. Maybe if she was a man she would just be aggressive.

B)

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I will take some shots of the new MOMA when we're in Manhattan next week. I'll post them here when I return. I'm anxious to see how the art works in the new environment as-in my opinion-the museum should only serve as the back-drop.

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p><p>[img]<a href=http://www.coop-himmelblau.at/images/projects/groning/groning0.jpg' alt='groning0.jpg'>

confluences0.jpg

akron0.jpg

A competition would be a great idea.

A selection committee bold enough to do some of the above would be fantastic!!!

B)

Edited by nmainguy

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confluences0.jpg

akron0.jpg

A competition would be a great idea.

A selection committee bold enough to do some of the above would be fantastic!!!

B)

Considering that all three sites mentioned are right by the existing buildings and with the Museum District being what it is, I would be surprised if they went with a radical design. Pleasantly surprised, but surprised none the less.

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Considering that all three sites mentioned are right by the existing buildings and with the Museum District being what it is, I would be surprised if they went with a radical design. Pleasantly surprised, but surprised none the less.

The Main St. site would probably be the best if it were to be something more "radical".

B)

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I think the "starchitect" approach is the wrong one for MFAH. Better to hold a competition and get a good design than to just pay for a big name and get another box like the Beck. They will face a serious challenge with any new addition. A new building will have to somehow complement the existing structures without overwhelming them, so something too radical probably won't happen. There will be additional constraints from trying to integrate the physical spaces of three buildings on three different blocks in some coherent manner. Finally, the relatively small footprint and square block size will dictate some of the design. Finally (unfortunately), Houston is extremely conservative when it comes to architecture, so I think the museum would back off from anything too cutting edge.

Actually, it was exactly these constraints that explain some of the design of the Beck building. It was designed to maximize area within the block, hence the efficient but boring "big box". Also it had to be taller than the Law building while not overshadowing the Mies facade, which was meant to remain the focal point, hence the plain unadorned look. As much as I dislike it, I can understand how Moneo came up with it.

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I think the "starchitect" approach is the wrong one for MFAH. Better to hold a competition and get a good design than to just pay for a big name and get another box like the Beck. They will face a serious challenge with any new addition. A new building will have to somehow complement the existing structures without overwhelming them, so something too radical probably won't happen. There will be additional constraints from trying to integrate the physical spaces of three buildings on three different blocks in some coherent manner. Finally, the relatively small footprint and square block size will dictate some of the design. Finally (unfortunately), Houston is extremely conservative when it comes to architecture, so I think the museum would back off from anything too cutting edge.

Actually, it was exactly these constraints that explain some of the design of the Beck building. It was designed to maximize area within the block, hence the efficient but boring "big box". Also it had to be taller than the Law building while not overshadowing the Mies facade, which was meant to remain the focal point, hence the plain unadorned look. As much as I dislike it, I can understand how Moneo came up with it.

Architect's fees are often only a small percentage of the total construction cost.

The Main St. property north of First Pres is quite large.

The original William Ward Watkin building is distinctly opposed to the 2 Mies additions. Likewise, the Mies additions are wildly different from the Moneo. If you weren't familiar with the MFA and stood back and looked at the 2 you would have no idea they are related.

building2i1.jpgbuilding1i2.jpg

This is a great chance to have the best without the constraints of site and provenceal attitudes. When both Mies were constructed, they were seen as radical-I'm old enough to remember-unfortunatly :P ].

B)

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"The Museum Has Three Faces"

The original Watkins building is totally different from the Mies additions, but it is generally hard to see them together so it isn't quite as incongruous as it sounds, or could have been. I believe I read at the time the Beck was added that the main common point of reference between the Beck and Mies was the use of the same colored stonework facing. Other than that, the Beck avoids clashing with the Mies building mainly by being as featureless as possible. You are right that there is no stylistic continuity, which is a shame. I'm not saying the Beck should have copied the Mies, but perhaps at least echoed it enough to suggest that the buildings were related.

Another MFAH addition could be a great opportunity to put Houston back on the architecture map where it once was, but I'm not getting my hopes up that anything great will happen, although I have no doubt they will hire a big name for the design.

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This is a great chance to have the best without the constraints of site and provenceal attitudes. When both Mies were constructed, they were seen as radical

That's interesting they were thought of as radical, since today it seems pretty subdued, like a corporate office. Were they unpopular at the time, or were they accepted quickly?

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That's interesting they were thought of as radical, since today it seems pretty subdued, like a corporate office. Were they unpopular at the time, or were they accepted quickly?

I think people were stunned and curious at the time but once they stepped inside, all that melted away. It was-and still is-just a fantastic way to display art of all types and sizes. People latched onto it almost immediatly and have loved it ever since.

B)

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A new building is in the talking stages for the MFA. It would mainly house the 20th century and contemporary collections.

The museum has 3 sites in mind. One is at the current garage location on Fannin. Another is across Binz from the garage and a third is north of the Mies wing off Main.

There are any number of world-class architects worthy of the job. I'd like to hear any suggestions you might have regarding the selection.

Here's a few of mine:

Renzo Piano [Menil Collection; Cy Twombly]

03big.jpg

06big.jpg

Yoshio Taniguchi [MOMA and the new Aisa Museum in Houston]

Exterior_moma.jpg

Zaha Hadid [Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, Cincinnati]

Hadid-CAC-photo-3.jpg

c3.jpg

Rem Koolhaas [seattle Public Library]

20000709mag-kool.13.jpg

Those are but a few of my choices for architect.

If you could add any pictures with your choices, that would be great.

As always,

B)

Excellent examples. I think Houston needs just this sort of thing.

Here's another great builidng that would be a good museum. It's part of the University of Cincinnati.

VontzCenter-001.jpg

It's nice to see a Frank Gehry that's not all shiny and reflective.

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If Frank Gehry did get the commision for the mext MFA then perhaps he could break from his own mold of curvy, drunken designs - they are "neat" but not to my taste and look better in the middle of the woods given the organic nature of his buildings (alumnium siding not withstanding).

Perhaps even:

Lake/Flato

Miller Hull? - they might have to leave the Northwest School behind for this one

Antoine Predock

Herzog de Meuron

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If Frank Gehry did get the commision for the mext MFA then perhaps he could break from his own mold of curvy, drunken designs - they are "neat" but not to my taste and look better in the middle of the woods given the organic nature of his buildings (alumnium siding not withstanding).

True enough. Problem is that Gehry is a victim of his own success, and clients demand that curvy Gehry look. I read that for his Millenium Park commission he originally came up with something different, but they went back to him and requested the trademark swirling metal. I suspect that by the time the new MFAH is commissioned he will be considered kind of dated and 1990s.

I agree with Bach on the Ando. Something like the Ft. Worth Modern art museum would look great with the existing MFAH buildings.

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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...

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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?

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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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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

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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.

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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

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The scope of this project is pretty huge. In general, this building is supposed to link the entire "campus" together, add parking, add exhibition space, add a library, add community features, "bring Hermann Park to the Sculpture Garden," etc.

High expectations, as there should be. I just hope we can get some awesome green walls! Well, and a cool, functional building. And, better sidewalks, and good dining options...

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Pretty uninspiring stuff, especially the one in Kansas City that just looks cheap and tacked on. Still, I'm glad MFAH didn't go the 'starchitect' route. I always thought the Beck addition was an awful design that they signed off on to get the name.

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Eh, Stephen Holl is pretty much a starchitect, and his work is not uninspiring. It doesn't photograph fantastically, but there's a subtlety and attention to natural light that makes for amazing spaces in person. My experience with his buildings is limited to his expansion of the architecture building at the University of Minnesota, but coming from that space down to Johnson's excremental postmodern abortion of a Ledoux scribble was quite a change.

Here's a terrible exterior shot: place_16285.jpg

My biggest concern has to do with the fact that this new building is supposed to unite MFAH's campus. The Rapson Hall addition integrates beautifully with the original Modernist building, but it's relationship to its greater context is more...questionable.

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My biggest concern has to do with the fact that this new building is supposed to unite MFAH's campus.

That is gong to be quite a challenge. There certainly wasn't any concern for unity with the older structures when the Beck building was designed. That said, the Brown Pavilion is brilliant and is in a totally different style from the original wing.

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My biggest concern has to do with the fact that this new building is supposed to unite MFAH's campus.

That is gong to be quite a challenge. There certainly wasn't any concern for unity with the older structures when the Beck building was designed. That said, the Brown Pavilion is brilliant and is in a totally different style from the original wing.

Is this what's meant by their 'unification' statement? I always interpreted it simply as providing physical (not visual/architectural) continuity between the Law and Beck buildings and the sculpture garden. Sure, architectural consistency might be optimal, but I don't see that as being a primary goal. (It's not as though my opinion matters, however.)

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Yeah, i don't think visual continuity is either intended nor desirable, but creating a meaningful spatial continuity across Main and Bissonet is plenty of challeng on its own.

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