The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, already one of the premier cultural institutions in the nation, has big plans for the future. A 14-acre redevelopment of the MFAH campus is currently underway; it’s the largest such cultural project in the country today with an eye on a 2020 completion. But Houstonians needn’t wait that long to enjoy what the MFAH has in store. A first look at those plans will come into focus on Saturday, May 20 with the inauguration of an all-new Glassell School of Art.
The Glassell School, a fixture of the Houston arts scene with almost 40 years to its name, is the only museum-affiliated art school in the country that serves students from the pre-K to postgraduate level. Its new campus will span 85,000 square feet and incorporate a staggering 36 studios, various public gallery spaces to showcase student and alumni art, a small auditorium, a public coffee bar, and other amenities. The space figures to serve some 8,500-plus students every year.
Designed by Steven Holl Architects, the new school boasts a breathtaking, modern design, complete with a reflecting pool, public sculptures, and a beautiful walkable roofline.
“The inventiveness of the forms and the quality of the spaces of the Glassell School of Art distinguish Steven Holl Architects’ building as a truly remarkable architectural statement,” said MFAH Director Gary Tinterow. “The magnificent new structure creates a seamless integration of architecture and public space, honoring the collaborative spirit of the Glassell School by embracing not only the thousands of students and faculty who will create in its spaces, but the greater public, as well.”
It’s a promising start to the campus redevelopment, and a boon to the Houston cultural and economic spheres. Aside from the significant job creation associated with the work, the campus transformation is projected to generate over $300 million in economic activity by 2038.
Featured Photo: View north to the walkable roofline of the new Glassell School of Art; Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects.