Steven Holl’s New Houston Museum Building May End Up Looking Kinda Like This

Seen any images floating around of the new building Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts is planning for the northwest corner of the Bissonnet and South Main, next to the Cullen Sculpture Garden? Well then, this watercolor-and-charcoal “concept sketch” for the building by architect Steven Holl from a year and a month ago may interest you. It’s going up for auction tomorrow — as part of a fundraiser for the nonprofit Architecture for Humanity. Holl was selected from a group of 3 finalists this past February, beating out LA design firm Morphosis and Oslo’s Snøhetta for the MFAH commission of a new structure to house 20th- and 21st-century art.


It may not be entirely clear from Holl’s drawing, but the new building will include a parking garage to replace the 2-acre surface lot currently on the site. It’ll face down the curved facade of the museum’s Law Building (below) — designed by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe — across Bissonnet St.

Images: Steven Holl, via Architecture for Humanity (sketch); Rob Corder (photo; license); MFAH (map).

10 Comment

  • Well, I guess there’s no need for any of that pesky “form follows function” aesthetic.

    There you go Swamplot, a trollish architectural critique based on a sketch.

  • I’m sure it will end up being a big beige box. Never trust an initial rendering, much less a “concept sketch” especially here in architectually conservative Houston.

  • Im ready for some updated leaks…Please!!! Seriously, Ive been wanting some eye candy on this for, well, since the news was released!!!

  • I’m with you, Jerome. It looks like he was messing around in the woodscrap pile.

  • Part of the plan should be to fix the crosswalk on Bissonnet. Completely nuts not to have decent lights on the north side of the cross so drivers can see people waiting to cross and then they put some view obstructing sandwich board in the middle of the crosswalk too. Geez, get it together.

  • @Jeromy M: I don’t see the trollishness in the post…sensitive much?

    First time I’ve heard of “Architecture for Humanity” – seems like a neat group, based on what I saw on their website.

  • It will not be a beige box. This is a Stephen Holl building commissioned by the MFAH, which can easily afford whatever he asks.

    The shape of the site should help too.

  • oh architects… how I loath you. ;)

    /structural engineer

  • Right… His team actually has a terrible track record of completing buildings that look just like his water colors. I am betting this building is going to turn out more or less like this one:

    Also, Architecture for Humanity rocks! Go support it.

  • @Purdueenginerd – why loathe an architect who actually gives you a challenge to engineer something worthy of a Purdue education? Can you not dream? Do you not yearn to utilize the latest engineering techniques and research? Must we rely on building technologies that have been proved cost-effective and relatively watertight by Walmarts? C’mon man – rise to the occasion!