Director Josef Helfenstein tells Cite magazine’s Raj Mankad that the new campus plan architect David Chipperfield is developing for the Menil Collection won’t necessarily involve the demolition of the Richmont Square apartment complex at 1400 Richmond.
The blocks along Richmond could become more dense than the other parts of the campus and serve as a buffer. The Dan Flavin installation – it was the last big piece done while Dominique was still here and Flavin’s last commission before he died – could become a gateway to the North. I actually think, if we do things right, Richmond Hall could help us to eventually integrate commercial development that has high standards with the artistic program we have in mind.
Photo of Richmond Hall and Richmont Square: Raj Mankad
THE RICHMOND LIGHTS SHALL NOT BE MOVED Deputy director Emily Todd lists the “guiding principles” behind the Menil’s planned expansion for the Chronicle‘s Douglas Britt: “Just going down the list: environmentally sustainable design principles; no alteration to the original museum buildings or the Cy Twombly (Gallery); the Dan Flavin/Richmond Hall installation cannot be relocated. … The relationship between the Menil buildings to the Rothko (Chapel) and the Byanztine Chapel have to be taken into account – something that is so beautiful. The … scale, ambience and residential quality of the neighborhood is of paramount importance, which I think is sweet. Any new buildings in the immediate vicinity of the president buildings will be of the scale of the Cy Twombly Gallery. Significant trees will be preserved, and building on an outdoor environment that encourages visitors and especially families, which you see if you come over here on the weekends.” [Arts in Houston; previously in Swamplot]
The firm of British architect David Chipperfield has been selected to design a master plan for the expansion of the Menil Collection campus. What’s to be added?
Those facilities include the Menil Drawing Institute and Study Center, an auditorium, a café, additional space for Menil archives and buildings devoted to the work of individual artists.
The Menil Foundation is also interested in developing “income-producing properties” along the coming Richmond rail line, reports Douglas Britt in the Houston Chronicle.
Fitting in so many new buildings, of course, will be a lot easier once the Menil decides which of its many neighboring properties it wants to knock down. And owning 30 acres in the area means there are plenty of possibilities!
Which will go first? The gray-washed arts bungalows? The small rental properties? Richmond Hall? Richmont Square?
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