The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, located in an architectural complex designed by Louis Kahn in 1971, houses one of the most important American art collections. RPBW - Renzo Piano Building Workshop's Kimbell Art Museum expansion in collaboration with Kendall/Heaton Associates of Houston was inaugurated a couple of days ago.
The new wing, which doubles the surface area of the museum, is designed to house temporary exhibitions and the Asian art collection. It contains classrooms and offices for the teaching department of the museum, a large 300-seater auditorium, a library, and an underground car park.
The Renzo Piano Pavilion, “subtly echoes” Kahn's building in height, scale and layout, but has a more open and transparent character. A colonnade of concrete columns wraps the sides of the building, supporting solid wooden beams protruding from the roof provide shade to the glass façades facing north and south.
Glass, concrete and wood are the predominant materials in the new building, echoing those used in the Khan body, to establish a relationship of continuity and harmony between the two structures.
The new pavilion will consume a quarter of the energy compared to the old museum thanks to a range of energy solutions like the installation of photovoltaic panels on the roof and 36 geothermal wells made at 140 meters deep.