Named one of the "World's Most Beautiful Art Museums" by Travel + Leisure magazine.
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth's building was designed by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando. The Modern is located in Fort Worth's celebrated Cultural District, directly opposite the Kimbell Art Museum, designed by Louis I. Kahn, and near the Amon Carter Museum, designed by Philip Johnson. Ando's design, which embodies the pure, unadorned elements of a modern work of art, is comprised of five long, flat-roofed pavilions situated on a 1.5 acre pond.
Elements of Design
“...pavilions that seem to float on the water...” –Condé Nast Traveller
Massive planar walls of architectural concrete boldly express the Modern's basic structure while protecting the collection within. Forty-foot-high transparent walls of glass framed in metal surround the concrete envelope, providing magnificent public circulation areas from which to view the surrounding building, the large reflecting pond, outdoor sculpture, and the landscaped grounds. The desire to use diffused and reflected natural light within the gallery spaces was a major influence on the building's design. Immense cantilevered cast-concrete roofs shade the building's exterior and accommodate the introduction of natural light into the gallery spaces by supporting sophisticated systems of continuous linear skylights and clerestory windows. Supporting the concrete roof slabs are five forty-foot-tall concrete Y-shaped columns. By day, the Modern's setting on eleven naturally landscaped acres—including an outdoor sculpture garden and terrace and a large reflecting pond at the building's edge—provides a restful complement to the building's architectural strength. By night, with the concrete walls bathed in an even glow of light, the transparent glass-and-steel galleries appear as large lanterns floating on and reflected in the pond.
The Display of Art
The Modern maintains one of the foremost collections of postwar art in the central United States, consisting of nearly 3,000 significant works of modern and contemporary international art. The Modern features 53,000 square feet of gallery space. A variety of gallery spaces are accommodated throughout the two levels of the Modern by the simple modularity of the building's design, combined with three double-height volumes that allow dramatic presentation of sculpture. The building's two levels permit the Museum's curatorial staff to display works from the permanent collection on one floor while hosting a major traveling exhibition on another.