It has been quite a week in the Cultural District, with two major announcements regarding museum architecture. The first happened at the end of last week, when the Kimbell Art Museum (our next door neighbors) announced that Renzo Piano will design the Kimbell's new building that will sit across Darnell Street from our building. Piano, who designed the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, will be up for a challenge as the Kimbell is considered Louis Kahn's masterpiece. Yet, if there is any architect to step up, it would be Piano, having worked in Kahn's studio and carrying with him an impressive record of museum construction.
Also this week, the Fort Worth Science and History Museum unveiled the plans for its major building project. Designed by Mexican firm Legorreta+Legorreta (Ricardo Legorreta and his son, Victor), construction is set to begin in September of this year with the opening in 2009. You can find out all about the building project here.
With the completion of these two buildings, there will be 5 museums in a quater mile designed by architects with 5 AIA Gold Medals and 3 Pritzker Prizes* between them. And just to throw it into the mix, Herbert Bayer designed the Modern's old building which now houses the Fort Worth Community Art Center, you know, in case anyone still had any doubts about the architectural importance of this little quarter mile.
*The Pritzker is awarded to living architects and the first being awarded in 1979 (to Philip Johnson), Louis Kahn died in 1974 and it is widely accepted that if he was still alive, he would have recieved an award.