2001 Flora Street
Renzo Piano 2004
Sculpture Center, in the Arts District of downtown Dallas, is a gallery and
garden built to house the private collection built up by Raymond and Patsy
Nasher over fifty years.
itself consists of five, simple, straight pavilions, the long walls of
travertine marble, the end walls fully glazed. The glazed walls at one end
invite you in from the street, with the sculpture fully visible; those at
the other lead you into the garden.
borrows heavily and happily from Piano's earlier art gallery for the
Beyeler Foundation outside
Basel in Switzerland. Both exploit the single-story form to provide indirect
lighting through the ceiling. The form is also similar in Piano's Paul Klee Center in Bern, comleted just after the Nasher Sculpture Center.
Here the demands of sculpture are less
exacting than those of the paintings in the Beyeler, and the Texan sun
stronger. The roof here, designed by Arup, is an aluminum mesh of oblique
holes to let in only indirect sunlight. The sides of each individual hole
are cut out by computer to let as much light as possible through, while
protecting from direct sun, taking into account he position of each hole in
As at the
Beyeler Foundation, Renzo Piano has created a superbly peaceful and inviting
place in which to enjoy the art. His success is all the more impressive
here, where even - or especially - in the garden one is almost unaware of
the downtown location and the surrounding world of mirror-glass skyscrapers.
Sculpture Center is an understated building throughout - in profile, its low
elevation partially screened by bamboo; its plain, beautifully finished
Travertine walls; its simple, easily-readable plan of five parallel 'engine
shed' pavilions. It provides an excellent backdrop to the small but
first-class private sculpture collection that it displays.
Simon Glynn 2004 (updated 2007)
How to visit
Sculpture Center is in the Arts District on the north side of downtown.
The entrance is on Flora Street, between Harwood Street and Olive Street.
Local parking lots are available.
information please call +1 214 242 5100 or visit
www.nashersculpturecenter.org, for both practical visitor information
and more pictures and background on the building.
All links outside galinsky will open in a new window.
Close it when you've finished, or use the Window menu on your browser, to return to