Kimbell Museum unveils Piano design for major addition
The Kimbell Art Museum today unveiled preliminary designs by Renzo Piano Building Workshop for a major addition to its 1972 landmark building designed by Louis I. Kahn.
Located to the west of the original building, Piano’s addition mirrors Kahn’s building in its height, scale and in the span of the façade as well as in its tripartite plan and use of travertine and concrete as primary materials. From its glazed front, which faces Kahn’s stately stone-clad portico, visitors inside Piano's pavilion will be in constant view of Kahn's masterpiece.
A striking aspect of Piano’s scheme is the gracefulness with which it restores the threshold expansion of the Kahn museum to Kahn’s original vision, so that visitors will once again enter as intended through the main west entrance and tree-lined court flanked by pools and vaulted portico. Piano plans also to incorporate an innovative roof system that will capture an exquisite light quality, a hallmark of Kahn’s masterpiece.
The $70 million addition ,which is expected to break ground in 2010 and complete in 2012, will roughly double the gallery space at the museum.