MFAH director, Gary Tinterow speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony.
MFAH director, Gary Tinterow speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Rich Kinder speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Rich Kinder speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Digging in! MFAH officially breaks ground on the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building.
Digging in! MFAH officially breaks ground on the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building.
Guests admire plans for the museum's transformative campus.
Guests admire plans for the museum's transformative campus.
Mesh outlines the footprint of the new building, as well as the Glassell School behind it.
Mesh outlines the footprint of the new building, as well as the Glassell School behind it.
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MFAH’s Expansion Continues to Transform the Museum District

MFAH’s Expansion Continues to Transform the Museum District

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The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, broke ground Wednesday on the Nancy and Rich Kinder building, the second of four new buildings that will make up the museum’s Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim Campus.

As guests entered the groundbreaking ceremony, orange mesh outlined the footprint of the new building.

“For the past five years, hundreds of museum professionals, architects, builders, accountants and consultants have been working tirelessly to make this vision a reality,” said Gary Tinterow, director of the MFAH. “But we wouldn’t be here, we couldn’t be here without the contributions and investments of more than 150 individuals, couples, corporations and foundations who as of today pledged nearly $390 million.”

The 165,000-square-foot translucent and transparent building designed by Steven Holl Architects will be home to modern and contemporary art, the 202-seat Lynn and Oscar Wyatt Theater, a restaurant, a café and meeting rooms.

“This is not about us today, this is about a great project,” said Rich Kinder. “The reason Nancy and I are supporters of this whole expansion is that we believe firmly that it is transformational for the museum district, and I would argue it’s transformational for the whole metropolitan area.”

Much like their other projects around Houston such as Discovery Green and Buffalo Bayou Park, the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building will incorporate gardens, reflection pools and promote walkability.

The redesign of the MFAH campus will change the landscape of the museum district and further cement Houston as a cultural hub.

“Civilizations past and present are defined and measured by their culture,” Tinterow said. “The new Nancy and Rich Kinder building will be a monument … an instant landmark for the city, for the state, for our country, with the finest expressions of modern art from the last century from around the entire world and animated by innovative programs reflecting Houston’s newfound identity of diversity.”

In addition to the Nancy and Rich Kinder building, the 14-acre redesign of the museum’s Sarofim Campus will be home to the new Glassell School of Art—scheduled to open January 2019, also designed by Steven Holl Architects, a landscape plan with multiple public plazas, by Deborah Nevins & Associates, and the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Center for Conservation.

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