Prior to becoming a Pritzker laureate, Italian architect Renzo Piano was commissioned to design the Menil Collection in a quiet inner-city neighborhood of Houston, Texas. Since celebrating its opening in 1987, the museum has expanded, adding Renzo’s second commission, the Cy Twombly Gallery (1995), along with the permanent, site-specific installation at Richmond Hall by minimalist sculptor Dan Flavin and the Byzantine Fresco Chapel (1997-2012) by owner Dominique de Menil. Surrounded by ample amounts of open space, the long-term master plan of the museum’s campus has been under the review of architect David Chipperfield.
Now, after an extensive international search to select the architect for the campuses new major addition that will house the Menil Drawing Institute (MDI), the architecture selection committee has announced the four architects under consideration. Once completed, MDI will be the first freestanding facility in America dedicated to modern and contemporary drawing, and one of the most advanced in the world.
Continue after the break to find out the finalists.
The Menil Drawing Institute finalists include:
Established in February 2008 by the Menil Collection, the Menil Drawing Institute and Study Center has been dedicated solely to the collection, exhibition, and study of modernist drawing, including the medium’s role in contemporary artistic practice. The institute contains more than 1200 works of some of the most leading figures in twentieth-century art, such as Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, Lee Krasner, Jasper Johns, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Ellsworth Kelly, Michael Heizer, and Robert Gober. The collection reaches as far back as Rembrandt and Delacroix, but concentrates mainly on modern and contemporary artists.
MDI’s new 18,000 square-foot addition will include spaced devoted to exhibition, study, conservation, archives, and storage. The biggest challenges of housing such delicate works is their extreme sensitivity to light.
The facility is expected to be completed sometime in the next three to five years. Although Chipperfield has suggested a few sites, all surrounded by green space, there has been no specific site determined.
Currently, Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective is on view until June 10th, 2012. It is the first retrospective of the artist’s drawings, as well as the first major one-person exhibition organized under the umbrella of the Menil Drawing Institute and Study Center. Find more details here.
Learn more about the story and design of the Menil Collection here on ArchDaily.