Sunday, June 29, 2008

Kansas City Art Space

When design architect, Steve Holl's modern addition to Kansas City's renowned Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art opened, in 2007, the gigantic Bloch Building looked like little more than a series of opaque boxes to many people in the community.

But on the inside, the new building offers an inventive space that is as much a piece of art as the collection it houses. While much of the Bloch Building lies beneath the ground, each of five individual 'lenses' features soaring angled and curved walls, and expansive windows that illuminate the space from the outside, in.

The 165,000-square-foot expansion also was designed with the environment in mind. An existing sculpture garden continues over gallery roofs, which helps insulate the building and control storm water drainage. In addition, the lenses gather sun-heated air each winter and exhaust it during the summer, reducing the need to heat and cool the massive space.

Where the Bloch Building and the original museum building intersect so does history. Where bold and brash new architecture meets the original building's soft and muted stone, Kansas City's artistic past and present intertwine for the ages.


blaine said...

Just FYI, I'm a local KC architect...Steven Holl is the design architect (not Moll) and BNIM was the local architect on the project. :)

lisa waterman gray said...


Sorry for the delayed response and thanks for the correction.