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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Kimbell Art Museum Expansion Project is Complete!

The Kimbell Art Museum Piano Pavilion will open to the public this week after three years of construction. As a father would do upon arrival of his newborn child, architect Renzo Piano rushed to Fort Worth to nurture, protect and proudly present his latest architectural feat.

Piano said if the original Kimbell building designed by Louis Kahn was an introvert with its windows facing interior courtyards, then his new pavilion is an extrovert with its windows forming walls to the lawn and life buzzing outside. Hence the name, pavilion. A pavilion is traditionally a short distance from the main building where people escape and find relaxation.

Piano said his building is an open and inviting building where people can meet, hear music, participate in classes or view art, in his talk A Conversation with Renzo Piano Nov. 19 in Fort Worth's Will Roger's Memorial Coliseum. Piano has a history if mixing the sacred and profane, which he does with this building. The profane are the areas the public uses socially, and the sacred is the metaphysical experience of viewing art. He said  in an interview with KERA's Krys Boyd that this new building is not about growth, rather he is adding something new, which is the aforementioned space for public use. A large foyer acts as a meeting place. And the lawn that was once an open silent space is now closed forming a room between the two buildings and yet another space for social use.

I plan to talk to area architects about their reaction to the new building. Piano said our perspective of the building will change over time. As it becomes a part of our daily ritual it becomes more a part of our home. I will also be going on a member-only tour today and will write about that later! I find all of this so exciting! More to come...

Read all about the international conversation surrounding this expansion project by clicking link below. After all, I wrote it!

Link to story: KAM Expansion by Jocelyn Tatum

On the construction site for interviews.