What had been rumored for months is now official: The new addition to the Kimbell Art Museum will be done on the big west lawn. The good news: It won’t eat up all the green space. Italian architect Renzo Piano unveiled his preliminary plans this week, showing that only about a quarter of the lawn, on the north side, will be used for the new building.
Piano explained his rationale to Static. Museum officials had studied the idea of building on what is now surface parking, across Arch Adams Street east of the Kimbell. That entrance has always been favored by patrons who come by car, and Piano thought putting a new building over there would increase that preference. But he wanted to get back to original architect Louis Kahn’s vision of the west, park-like entrance as the museum’s “front door.” So the new building will have underground parking and will face the tree-covered west entrance, with a little plaza in between.
Static had only one more question: What did the gushing Star-Telegram story on the addition mean in saying that Piano is “nothing if not generous”?
“I’m not sure about that,” Piano said. Generous enough to forgo his usual hefty architect’s fee? “I’m very sure I’m not that generous,” he said with a laugh.