Architecture / Cultural

McNay Art Museum Stieren Center for Exhibitions


For the Stieren Center for Exhibitions addition to the McNay Art Museum, Ford, Powell & Carson’s sixth project at the McNay, FPC collaborated with Jean-Paul Viguier in Paris, and the Paratus Group in New York, to create a 45,000 square foot pavilion intended for traveling exhibitions and changing shows organized from the Museum’s extensive but undisplayed holdings.

The Center forms a new entry to the museum and defers to the original 1927 Spanish Eclectic Revival villa, the core of the original museum, by nestling into the earth within the museum’s grounds, well below the roofs and towers of the villa. The Stieren Center for Exhibitions contains flexible galleries with movable display walls that do not engage the gallery’s ceilings, day-lit sculpture galleries, a 250 seat auditorium, offices, curatorial spaces and art storage, and a new gift shop.

The two level Stieren Center provides sculpture galleries, classrooms, and the auditorium in a below grade level opened to a sloping sculpture garden and landscape. At the museum’s ground floor are the new entry at the seam between the addition and existing building, a link to the interior courtyard of the villa, the gift shop and flexible galleries.

These spaces are top-lit by a complex system of skylights and shades above a mulit-layered fritted glass ceiling, filtering the harsh Texas sun. Fin walls and a 21 foot deep cantilevered sun-shade over the south façade help the building meet the strict requirements of the International Energy Code, despite the extensive use of exterior glazing.

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