Houston Museum Features Sloping, Walkable Green Roof

Sourced from The Construction Specifier

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) opened the first phase of its campus redevelopment project with the inauguration of the Glassell School of Art by Steven Holl Architects. The building is the first of three planned for the museum’s $450-million expansion of its Sarofim Campus, which is the largest cultural project under construction in North America, according to the firm.

The L-shaped facility is constructed from a series of sandblasted, precast concrete panels, alternated with panes of glass, and features a sloping, walkable roofline that runs the length of the building, connecting wide-stepped seating at the base with a rooftop garden above. Glassell School’s 8640-m2 (93,000-sf) interior includes three dozen studios, all lit with natural light, as well as public gallery spaces and a 75-seat auditorium.

“Our building for the Glassell School is a key part of the overall strategy to shape the public spaces for the entire campus,” says Steven Holl. “The alternating concrete and glass panels create a porosity between indoors and out, and the gathering spaces—including the building’s walkable, sloping roof—provide a civic experience for students and the public alike, with spectacular views of the neighborhood and the city skyline.”

The Glassell School reflects the Museum’s commitment to developing future generations engaged in the arts, according to Joseph Havel, the school’s director.

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