Menil Museum, Houston

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A study of Menil Museum in Houston, designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano.

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Menil Museum, Houston

  1. 1. MENIL MUSEUM, HOUSTON RENZO PIANO
  2. 2. RENZO PIANO • Born : 14 September 1937 (age 75) • Nationality: Italian • Practice: Renzo Piano Building Workshop • Awards: Pritzker Architecture Prize, Royal Gold Medal, Kyoto Prize, AIA Gold Medal, Erasmus Prize, UIA Gold Medal
  3. 3. BIOGRAPHY • Renzo Piano was born in September 1937 in Genoa, the ancient Italian port on the Mediterranean. • He studied in Florence and in Milan, where he worked in the office of Franco Albini and experienced the first student rebellions of the 1960s. • Born into a family of builders, frequent visits to his father Carlo’s building sites gave him the opportunity to combine practical and academic experience. • He graduated from the Politecnico University in Milan in 1964. • From 1965 to 1970, he combined his first experimental work with his brother Ermanno together with numerous trips to Great Britain and the United States
  4. 4. BIOGRAPHY • In 1971, he set up the Piano & Rogers office in London with Richard Rogers. Together they won the competition for the Centre Pompidou and he subsequently moved to Paris. • From the early 1970s to the 1990s, he worked with engineer Peter Rice, sharing the Atelier Piano & Rice from 1977 to 1981. • In 1981, the Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) was established, and it currently has a staff of 150 and offices in Paris, Genoa and New York.
  5. 5. BIOGRAPHY • Like most works designed by members of the "High-Tech" movement, Piano established technology as a starting point for his designs. Fortunately, he modified his attempts to generate an architectural character based on technological forms with a concern for user comfort and needs. • In his more recent works, Piano has applied his structural experiments to a range of social and civic projects.
  6. 6. SELECTED PROJECTS
  7. 7. ZENTRUM PAUL KLEE
  8. 8. EMI MUSIC FRANCE HEADQUARTERS
  9. 9. PARCO DELLA MUSICA AUDITORIUM
  10. 10. THE NEW YORK TIMES BUILDING
  11. 11. MENIL MUSEUM
  12. 12. INTRODUCTION • In 1972 the de Menils engaged noted architect Louis Kahn, who had recently completed the Kimbell Museum in Fort Worth, to design a museum to house their collection. • The building site was a 1920s residential enclave, entire blocks of which they had purchased over the course of several years with the aim of creating a storage facility and study center for their art. • Kahn called for removing all of the residential structures and transforming the entire site into a museum complex with gardens. • Due to John de Menil’s death in 1973, followed by Kahn’s less than a year later, the architect’s ambitious plan never came to fruition. • Dominique de Menil continued to pursue the idea of permanently housing the family collection in a public museum. Preliminary schemes were developed with architect Howard Barnstone. Then in 1980 she met the Italian architect Renzo Piano who she collaborated with excellently.
  13. 13. INTRODUCTION • The Menil Collection, located in Houston, Texas, USA, refers either to a museum that houses the private art collection of founders John de Menil and Dominique de Menil. • The Renzo Piano-designed museum opened to the public in June 1987, has collection of twentieth-century art, including over 15,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photograp hs, and rare books.
  14. 14. DESIGN • Unlike the Kahn plan, the building envisioned by Piano—his first in the United States—would not remake the existing neighborhood but rather blend in and harmonize with it. • The exterior—an understated facade of gray cypress siding, wide expanses of glass, and white-painted steel—echoes the surrounding bungalows, all of them painted the same shade of what has become known as “Menil gray.” • The building’s dark-stained pine floors, low-slung profile, large lawn, and surrounding portico (which mimics the deep porches typical of early Houston homes) further recall the neighboring domestic structures. • Telling Piano what she wanted in very simple but specific terms—a museum that would look “small on the outside, but be as big as possible inside”—de Menil got exactly what she wanted; although the Menil is large, it sits gently in its residential setting, and its careful proportions and placement engage easily with the nearby houses.
  15. 15. PLAN OF THE MUSEUM
  16. 16. SECTION
  17. 17. SECTION
  18. 18. LIGHTING • De Menil insisted that most of her collection be displayed in natural light so that visitors could experience art as she did in her home, enlivened by the subtle changes that occur at different times of the day or year. • It was also critical that the works be protected from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays. • Piano, with engineering consultants from Ove Arup and Partners, made several trips to Houston to measure light intensity and atmospheric conditions.
  19. 19. STRUCTURE • While technology provided the necessary data, it was a trip to Israel’s Kibbutz Ein Harod with de Menil that provided Piano with his first inspiration. • The kibbutz’s architect, Samuel Bickets, had suspended a screen beneath the museum building’s skylights that filtered sunlight, which could fill the gallery without directly striking works of art. • The second inspiration was Piano’s own sailboat, a model of which the architect had recently built using ferro-cement. • Enchanted by the flexibility of this particular material, Piano designed a wave-shaped “leaf” for the Menil’s roof and ceiling, which he used along with white steel trusses, both in the gallery spaces and on the building’s exterior, to unify the structure. • The leaves function as a method of controlling light levels and also as a means of returning air flow.
  20. 20. CAMPUS • The museum campus has grown to include two satellite galleries to the main building: Cy Twombly Gallery and The Dan Flavin Installation at Richmond Hall, which houses Dominique de Menil's last commission. • Two other buildings founded by the de Menils, but now operating as independent foundations, complete the campus: The Byzantine Fresco Chapel and the Rothko Chapel. • The museum has a library that is open to qualified researchers by appointment and a bookstore open during museum hours.
  21. 21. NEIGHBOURHOOD • The neighborhood as a whole has a coordinated feel. The Menil Foundation began buying homes in the area in the 1960s and painting them the same shade of gray over time. • When the museum building was constructed, it too was painted "Menil gray". • Though subtle, the result is a neighborhood that feels aesthetically unified. • Currently the surrounding bungalows are used as additional office space for museum employees, or rented to individuals or non-profit organizations.
  22. 22. PRESENTED BY :- AISHWARYA HARI KHUSHBOO SOOD

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