ACCORDING TO STEVEN Holl, there are three types of museums: the ‘white box that sucks the life out of art’, the ‘overly expressive museum’ which upstages the art, and – somewhere in between – the quiet yet transformative museum. ‘We work on the third type, which brings the user through because there’s a general spatial energy,’ says Holl, noting a marked reticence to tilted walls and extravagant settings that often detract from the art. The American architect’s considerate approach for cultural buildings comes from a long line of collaborations with a who’s who of artists, such as Walter De Maria, Richard Nonas and James Turrell.

His latest home for the arts, the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building

for the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston (MFAH), is the pi.ce de

r.sistance of a masterplan Holl envisioned for the museum’s 5.7ha

campus eight years ago. With its translucent glass skin, reflecting

pools and fluid interiors, the building is also a reflection of Holl’s

signature concepts of porosity, light and spatial choreography.

The 15,000 sq m Kinder Building is dedicated to works from

MFAH’s international collection of modern and contemporary art.

Opening on 21 November 2020, it joins an array of buildings across

the museum campus: the two main gallery buildings – the 1920s...

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