Museum of Fine Arts Architecture
Ph.: Sean Fleming / smfleming.com

Museum of Fine Arts

Houston, TX | USA
Business Area
ARCHITECTSteven Holl Architects
Ph.: Sean Fleming / smfleming.com
The Concept

The 'Nancy and Rich Kinder Building' is one of three new buildings being constructed as part of the redevelopment of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston Campus. Once completed, the building will be dedicated to 20th and 21st century art. From the outside, the building is almost completely wrapped in translucent glass ("Cool Jacket"). The twelve areas clad with semicircular glass tubes are separated by seven entrance and access areas, which are cut into the building complex to create interior courtyards. The glass tubes not only serve as a design element, they also regulate the incidence of daylight and reduce the energy entry into the building. During technical detailing, special attention was paid to concealed fixing and minimized horizontal and vertical joints. The invisible fixing was realized by using glued structural fastening profiles on the inside of the glass tubes.


For the architectural and technical verification of the glass bearing and fixing of the "Cool Jacket" façades, extensive mock-ups and tests have been carried out, finally leading to the decision to opt for a glass buildup with 8 or 10 mm low-iron glass with etching on pos. 1, 1.52 PVB white translucent and 8 or 10 mm low-iron glass. 

The roof of the building consists of a geometric free form featuring a variety of irregular concave segments. The transitions of these segments are closed by curved vertical glazing ("clerestory"). The substructure of this glazing consists of an aluminum frame bent as a helix. Flat glass was used for the glasses that have been cold-bent onto the curved substructure. As with the interior courtyards, a variety of partly transparent, partly translucent glass buildup was used. In this way, diffuse, shadow-free daylight enters the exhibition areas in a controlled manner.

The Project
Scope of Work

4,700 sqm of "Cool Jacket" curtain wall façades made of hot-bent semicircular glass tubes, 2,300 sqm stick-system steel façades of the inner courtyards as well as 500 sqm of clerestory glazing.

Technical Details

OWNER: Museum of Fine Arts

ARCHITECT: Steven Holl Architects

CLIENT: McCarthy Building Companies


More Information

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