The Kimbell Art Museum’s new addition, the Renzo Piano Pavilion, bears the name of its architect and demonstrates the happy coexistence of sustainability and physical beauty.
The $135 million Piano Pavilion was commissioned to serve one of the most revered museum buildings in the country, designed by architect Louis Kahn, and Mr. Piano’s pavilion design aims to complement Kahn’s monumental modernist aesthetic, his fondness for concrete and emphasis on light. What Mr. Piano’s pavilion adds to the conversation is a stress on contemporary sustainability practices.
“The Kahn building is famous for its natural light,” Mr. Piano said. “But that was a natural lighting system designed in the late ’60s and ’70s. Technologies have advanced considerably since then. We needed to capitalize on the new technologies and make a design that is more flexible and responsive to the issues of today, like sustainability.”
“Designing for energy savings is not an ‘add on,’ ” Mr. Piano said in an October Kimbell Art Museum publicity release, “but, rather, the proper way to build.”