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McNay Art Museum (Jane and Arthur Stieren Center for exhibitions)

San Antonio, Texas, USA
2008

Competition won in 2002
Program:
Construction of a new wing for the musem, a 225-seat auditorium and 2 classrooms
Mission: design and supervision of work, interior design
Location: 6000 North New Braunfels Avenue, San Antonio, TX 78209, USA
Surface area: 4 000 sqm NSA

Client: McNay Art Museum
Representative client: Paratus Group
Associate architects: Ford, Powell & Carson, Architects and planners, Inc 
Engineering firm, fluids: Altieri, Sebor, Wieber, LLC
Engineering firm, structures: Robert Silman Associates
Engineering firm, facades: Front
Lightning: Aruplighting

Awards: International Architecture Award 2011

The extension of the McNay Museum of Modern Art, otherwise known as the Jane and Arthur Stieren Exhibition Center, is a long volume glass on two levels embedded within a vegetal slope

At the highest level, the glass-faced façade offers a view overlooking the undulating sculpture gardens and opens up onto an outdoor terrace. At the lowest level, the glazed façade plays hide-and-seek with the outdoor spaces. In essence, disappearing behind paved terraces and reappearing again towards the sculpture gardens to then ever fade again behind the planted slope. In the garden of the sculptures the alignments of stone walls are punctuated by the fabric of the building and define the three outer galleries extending the atmospheric experience of the interior space to the exterior

The design of this museum is based on the conviction that works of art should be exhibited and valued in natural light as they were once created in that same state

An ingenious roofing device with a thickness of approximately 2.20 meters has been developed for this specific project. A machine that treats light enacting as a cover composed of several layers that at times breaks, diffuses and regulates by means of motorized horizontal blinds the vibrant burning light of southern Texas. It also controls its intensity and direction. The roof is cantilevered along the facade and thus, protects the exhibition galleries from direct sunlight.

The exhibition spaces are vast and modular free from structural constraints.

This project won the 2011 The International Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum Europe.

 

Agency credits

Architect: Jean-Paul Viguier
Associate, project director: Blin Vose-Trincal
Project team: Giovanna Chimeri, Céline Lemercier, Kari Silloway, Cédric Nieser, Pierre-Henri Cazes
Lansdscape designers: Pierre-Henri Cazes (étude phase APD jardin des sculptures)