FORT WORTH — The Kimbell Art Museum announced Friday that their new Renzo Piano-designed building will open Nov. 27, 2013. The $135 million structure with parking garage, auditorium, galleries, offices and an education wing has been under construction since 2010 and will meet its proposed target date of completion this year even though the final cost has increased by $10 million.There are sympathetic consistencies between the original building designed by Louis Kahn in 1972 and design by Piano, who was once Kahn’s assistant. The size is similar, as are the materials. But Piano’s is a transparent counterpoint to Kahn’s more solid construction. “In its marshaling of light, materials, scale and plan, Piano’s lean post-and-beam structure will provide an enduring counterpoint to Kahn’s solid, vaulted forms,” says Eric M. Lee, director of the Kimbell.Piano has retained as much of the lawn as possible, sweeping the sod up over the roof of his 300-foot long, 22-foot high structure, it will be accessible to the public and provide energy efficiency. The green features in this building will consume half the energy needs of the original. “Because only a third of the interior is above ground, the museum will see greatly reduced demands for heating and cooling,” Piano says. “Building green is good morally. It’s a kind of duty; it’s also poetically good.”The Kimbell’s permanent collection, valued at over $1 billion will be split between the two structures. The European works will be in the Kahn building, the pre-Columbian, African and Asian art will be on display in the Piano pavilion. The principal function of the new galleries will be to display the traveling exhibitions so that the Kimbell will always have a good portion of their excellent permanent collection on display.
Gaile Robinson, 817-390-7113 Twitter: @GaileRobinson