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Menil Collection

Listed under Contemporary Architecture in Houston, United States.

  • Photo of Menil Collection
  • Photo of Menil Collection
  • Photo of Menil Collection
Photo of Menil Collection
Photo by flickr user alex-s
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Art collector Dominique de Menil was thinking not simply of a new home for her growing collection, but also of a centre for music, literature, theatre and cultural educational activities when she planned this new building in a small park surrounded by low residential housing. It was to be free of all stylistic borrowings, flexible and open, and above all was to be illuminated with natural light, a specification to which Piano subordinated all other design stages. The solution was a roof of 'leaves' of thin ferro-cement which would span both the free areas as well as the display rooms of the flat building, and to which additional lights could be easily attached. Above this, a sealed superstructure contains the 'treasury'—an air-conditioned storage space for works of art not on display. The traditional timbering of the outside walls is a reference to the surrounding houses: 'Demonumentalization' was the motto.

Written by  George Monkhouse.

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