Museum of Fine Arts, Houston completes $450m expansion

Richard Barnes

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) is opening its Nancy and Rich Kinder Building, completing the museum’s ambitious $450m expansion, on November 21.

The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building completes the museum’s decade-long expansion and enhancement of the Susan and Fayez S Sarofim Campus.

To celebrate, MFAH is offering free general admission to all of its buildings throughout the opening weekend and to the Kinder Building through November 25.

The Kinder Building has 237,000 square feet of space and was designed by Steven Holl, principal and lead designer of Steven Holl Architects.

“Nancy and I are overjoyed to see this wonderful building open its doors to the public in the heart of a beautifully expanded and landscaped campus,” said Rich Kinder.

Completing the decade-long expansion at MFAH

“This opening means so much to us because we know what it means for the people of Houston, who make this institution their museum, day after day.

“We thank everyone who shares our deep belief in Houston and has worked to make this day a reality,” added Kinder.

The building is dedicated to displaying the museum’s international collections of modern and contemporary art, including photography, prints, drawings, decorative arts, craft and design.

The street-level gallery will house immersive installations, while second-floor galleries are organised by curatorial department and third-floor galleries feature thematic exhibitions.

Kinder Building was designed by Steven Holl

Peter Molick

MFAH’s new building accompanies existing spaces, including the Caroline Wiess Law Building, Audrey Jones Beck Building, and Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden.

The concrete Kinder Building boasts a trapezoidal shape and is dressed in vertical glass tubes that provide a pattern across its facades at night.

Gary Tinterow, director of the MFAH, said: “A century after the Museum’s founding by a group of local art lovers, it is thrilling to place the finishing touches on the Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim Campus, the most complete expression of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

He said the MFAH has been able to “construct magnificent new facilities for the display of the art of the preceding century and of our time, and to provide new plazas and gardens that will make the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the cultural hub of the region.”

Elsewhere, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles has exceeded its pre-opening fundraising campaign goal of $388m, with a closing donation from LAIKA.

Images: MFAH