Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Houston

2013-2018 | Houston TX

Client Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Architect Steven Holl Architects
Associate Architect Kendall/Heaton Associates
Structural Engineer Guy Nordenson and Associates
Structural Engineer Cardno Haynes Whaley
Awards 2019 Architizer A+ Awards, Concepts + Architecture + Art Special Mention; 2019 Architizer A+ Awards, Architecture + Art Special Mention; 2019 Architizer A+ Awards, Architecture + Learning Special Mention; 2019 Architizer A+ Awards, Higher Education and Research Facilities Jury Winner; 2019 Texas Society of Architect TxA Design Award; 2019 Precast/ Prestressed Concrete Institute Design Awards, Government and Public

The new 93,000sf Glassell School of Art provides classroom, studio, exhibition, and lecture space as part of the 14-acre campus expansion of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH). It doubles the program size of its previous building and was designed in parallel with the new 164,000sf Nancy and Rich Kinder Building.

The L-shaped Glassell School of Art is constructed from a series of sandblasted, exposed structural precast concrete panels. The 178 wall panels vary in size and geometry, and they are arranged along the perimeter with full-height glazed panels in between. Exposed precast hollowcore concrete planks span between cast-in-place concrete perimeter beams to form the floor system. A series of folded steel plate stairs crisscross the school’s triple-height entry forum, clear spanning between cast-in-place concrete perimeter beams at each floor level.  Precast concrete planks support the school’s sloped green roof with integrated amphitheater seating. A continuous stairway allows public roof access for unobstructed views of the MFAH campus and greater Houston.