Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth 
3200 Darnell Street 
Fort Worth, Texas 
76107 USA

Tadao Ando 2002

The Museum is located within a municipal park that makes up the Cultural District in Fort Worth. Within this area for the arts the Museum is situated directly across from the Kimball Museum designed by Louis I. Kahn and near the Amon Carter Museum by Philip Johnson.

The museum is made up of five rectangular volumes, three short and two long, arranged parallel to each other, each composed of a double-membrane structure of glass and concrete. The two longer rectangular volumes contain the museum entry, entry lobby, auditorium, and retail shop. An elliptical shaped volume protrudes from one of the longer rectangular volumes, which contains a café and restaurant. From this space diners have a spectacular view of the three shorter rectangular volumes which contain the exhibition galleries and the surrounding water plaza whose mirror-like surface reflects the entire building.

These volumes each with their structural 'Y' column supporting the flat overhanging concrete roof reflected into the shallow pool of water that also serves as a buffer between the museum and the passing highway. Forty-foot-high transparent walls of glass framed in metal surround a concrete envelope containing the exhibition spaces. The spaces between the glass curtain walls and the concrete volumes provide intermittent double-height spaces from which the visitor can view the building and its landscape. Vice versa, the glass curtain walls allow natural light to penetrate the interior while the concrete walls and overhanging concrete roof shelter the artwork from the natural light allowing the light, shadow and reflections of the water to dance on its smooth surface.


This natural light that is allowed to enter through the double-height curtain wall is part of the intricate spatial sequence of the museum that is defined by two other types of natural lighting systems; the light that characterizes the space between the rectangular volumes and the soft light that is introduced through sky lights that is then filtered through a translucent membrane into the exhibition spaces of the concrete volumes.

One of Ando's first major commissions in the United States, the museum is very similar in form to a museum that Tadao Ando was designing at about the same time in Kobe, Japan: the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art.

Kari Silloway 2004

How to visit

Getting there

From Dallas take Highway I-30 west; exit University Drive; follow signs to Cultural District; north on University Drive to Lancaster Avenue one block to Arch Adams Street; right on Arch Adams Street; right on Darnell Street; Museum entrance is on left.

Opening hours

Tuesday 10am - 8pm;
Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday 10am - 5pm 
Friday 12pm - 8pm 
Sunday 12pm - 5pm

Closed Monday and holidays

For more information telephone +1 817-738-9215 or visit

Books and other web sites

Click the book title to view and to order direct from


Tadao Ando: Light and Water
Tadao Ando, Kenneth Frampton, Massimo Vignelli

Readable, beautifully presented book featuring this and other works by Tadao Ando


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