$450 Million Expansion Plan for MFA Houston

Rendering of the planned Nancy and Richard Kinder Building at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Steven Holl Architects.

Rendering of the planned Nancy and Richard Kinder Building at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Steven Holl Architects.

Major changes are afoot for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, which has just unveiled a $450­ million redevelopment plan, designed by Steven Holl Architects and named after lead donor Fayez S. Sarofim, a money manager and art collector who has put $70 million toward the museum.

The master plan for the museum’s 14­-acre campus includes a new 164,000­-square­-foot building for 20th-­ and 21st-­century art, named after energy magnate Richard Kinder and his wife Nancy, who donated $50 million to the project. MFA Houston’s Glassell School of Art will also receive a new, 80,000­-square-­foot home, which will accommodate double the number of students than the existing facilities can handle.

The construction, which will also include a Lake|Flato Architects–designed conservation center with lab facilities, an outdoor amphitheater, a rooftop sculpture garden, and 400 underground parking spaces, is slated to break ground later this year, with a projected completion date of 2019.

The existing campus structures, by such luminaries as William Ward Watkin, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Rafael Moneo, and the Isamu Noguchi sculpture garden, will be harmoniously incorporated into the new plan by a to­-be-­hired landscape architect.

Impressively, after less than two years of fundraising, the museum has already raised $330 million, nearly three quarters of its $450 million campaign goal.

In a statement, MFA director Gary Tinterow called the renovation plan the museum’s “largest transformation yet,” promising that it “will position us to reshape and reinvigorate the museum experience and the future of Houston’s civic life.”


For more artnet News architecture coverage, see Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Picks Annabelle Selldorf to Design La Jolla Expansion and Norton Museum of Art Has Funded Half Its Foster + Partners Expansion.


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