Advanced Studio, Spring 2011: McCarter

  • Work by Guanan Chen for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2011.
    Work by Guanan Chen for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2011.
  • Work by Xi Chen for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2011.
    Work by Xi Chen for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2011.
  • Work by Alexandra Waller for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2011.
    Work by Alexandra Waller for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2011.
  • Work by Matthew DeLoatche for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2011.
    Work by Matthew DeLoatche for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2011.
  • Work by Matthew DeLoatche for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2011.
    Work by Matthew DeLoatche for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2011.
  • Work by Xi Chen for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2011.
    Work by Xi Chen for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2011.

Advanced Studio, Spring 2011
Alternate Reality: An (Other) Addition To Louis Kahn's Kimbell Art Museum

Robert McCarter, Ruth and Norman Moore Professor

This comprehensive studio allows students to engage a design project at once ideal and real, in that the addition to Louis I. Kahn's Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, is an actual commission, recently awarded to Renzo Piano and now in construction. Due to the canonical position the Kimbell Museum holds in the history of 20th-century architecture, any proposed addition should be subjected to the most intense scrutiny and questioning. The studio project, therefore, is to develop alternative designs for an addition to the Kimbell Art Museum.

Projects must serve as design "answers" to a series of questions: How can an addition be made that maintains the experiential qualities that have led to the Kimbell being recognized as the greatest museum of the 20th century? What part does the Kimbell’s relationship to the park to its west play in the experience of the building? Most importantly, what is the right thing to do in this situation? How can we, as a society, avoid constructing an addition that will be seen by future generations as causing irreparable damage to the experience of the Kimbell Art Museum and its integral landscape?

The design process begins with questioning all assumptions, past and present, regarding making an addition to the Kimbell. The studio serves as a vehicle for developing and testing alternate sites, massing, site circulation/entry strategies, building morphologies, and interior spatial organizations, with the results being presented to the museum director and staff.

In the tradition of Kahn's graduate studios, students employ the actual program of spaces and functions being used by Piano's office in designing their projects. Emphasis is placed on the experience of interior space, the engagement of natural light, and the deployment of both traditional and emerging materials and methods of construction.