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

Doubling the program size of its previous building, the new 80,000sf 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). Designed in parallel with the new 164,000sf Nancy and Rich Kinder Building, it is the first of three buildings to be completed in the ambitious $450 million campus expansion. The L-shaped Glassell School of Art is constructed from a series of sandblasted, exposed structural precast panels. The 178 wall panels vary in size and geometry and are spaced along the perimeters to allow full-height glazed panels to be installed between adjacent precast wall panels. Precast hollowcore concrete planks frame the floor systems and span between the system of cast-in-place concrete perimeter beams. The underside of the precast planks are left exposed to view within the space. 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. The school’s sloped green roof system is supported on the precast concrete planks and includes integrated amphitheater seating and a continuous stairway that allows for public roof access where visitors can take in unobstructed views of the MFAH campus and greater Houston beyond.