Modern Art Museum of Fort
Worth 3200 Darnell Street
Fort Worth, Texas
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
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.
How to visit
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.