Campus Redevelopment

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim Campus
The campus of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, has been transformed with a school and gallery building, designed by Steven Holl Architects; a conservation center, designed by Lake|Flato Architects; and a landscape plan by Deborah Nevins & Associates that knits together a century’s worth of signature architectural structures. The entire project, underway since 2012, was completed with the opening of the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building on November 21, 2020.

Questions about the campus redevelopment? Contact or 713.830.5280.

The Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim Campus

Encompassing 14 acres in the heart of Houston’s Museum District, the MFAH campus-redevelopment project is a major contribution to the city’s efforts to improve the pedestrian experience of Houston. With an array of public plazas, reflecting pools, and gardens, as well as improved sidewalks, street lighting, and way-finding, the Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim Campus provides an active setting for three significant new structures:

• A 237,213-square-foot-building for 20th- and 21st-century art: The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building
• A 102,528-square-foot home for the Museum’s school: The Glassell School of Art
• A 37,864-square-foot, state-of-the-art conservation center: The Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation Center for Conservation

Additional key elements
• Two underground parking garages
• Two pedestrian tunnels: one between the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building and the Caroline Wiess Law Building, and one between the Glassell School of Art and the Kinder Building
• A renewed Cullen Sculpture Garden; designed by Isamu Noguchi, it has been restored as part of the campus project

Site-Specific Commissioned Artworks 

A series of major site-specific commissioned artworks, inaugurated with the Kinder Building, serve as portals that connect the new structure with the other components of the Sarofim Campus. Located at strategic points, the works are designed to mark moments of transition on the campus and activate public spaces. These works of art have been commissioned from a roster of renowned, international artists.

  • El Anatsui
  • Byung Hoon Choi
  • Carlos Cruz-Diez
  • Ólafur Elíasson
  • Trenton Doyle Hancock
  • Cristina Iglesias
  • Jason Salavon
  • Ai Weiwei

The Glassell School of Art & The Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza

Designed by Steven Holl Architects, with plaza designed by Deborah Nevins & Associates in collaboration with Nevins & Benito Landscape Architecture, D.P.C.
Completed 2018

The L-shaped Glassell School of Art building is constructed from nearly 200 sandblasted, pre-cast concrete panels, alternating with panes of glass, in a rhythm of verticals and slight angles.

Highlights of the Glassell School of Art
• The PNC Roof Garden, a sloping, walkable green roofline offering dramatic views of the Sarofim campus and the Houston skyline
• Fronts onto The Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza, with its ample outdoor space for programs and performances, and two significant works of public sculpture: Cloud Column (2006) by Anish Kapoor and Song of Strength (1966) by Eduardo Chillida
• A street-level café for students and the public
• Provides studio and classroom space for Glassell School of Art students from pre-K to post graduate

The Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation Center for Conservation

Designed by Lake|Flato Architects
Completed 2018

Constructed on top of the pre-existing Binz Street parking garage, the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation Center for Conservation houses state-of-the art conservation labs and studios.

• Brings the MFAH conservation team together under one roof and in close proximity to the Museum
• Provides facilities not only for MFAH research and conservation projects, but also for national and international collaborations


Time-Lapse: Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Column 

The Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza & PNC Roof Garden