Nasher Sculpture Center
2001 Flora Street
Texas 75201

Renzo Piano 2004

The Nasher 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.

The gallery 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.

The design 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 the roof.

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.

The Nasher 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

The Nasher 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.

For more information please call +1 214 242 5100 or visit, 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 galinsky.


   Welcome    |    About galinsky    |    Contact/contribute    |    Architects    |    Europe    |    North America    |    Travel packs

   copyright © galinsky 1998-2007. e-mail