Kimbell Art Museum

The last project by architect Louis Kahn before his death in 1974, the design is considered by many as the best building within the City of Fort Worth. The building consists of a modular arrangement of 16 cycloid vaults. They are constructed with post-tensioned concrete. The building is “U” shaped with an entry courtyard in the middle. A vault on the west porch of each wing is open, providing a shaded walkway to the entrance from both Camp Bowie and Lancaster. A pool with one change in level flanks the open vaults. The north and south elevations feature 6 vaults in a series with the non-supporting portions of the walls clad in travertine. Skylights are located at the top of each vault and run their entire length. Light is diffused into the space by a series of baffles located inside the vaults. Within the building are several courtyards that break up the series of vaults and provide garden areas and focal points for sculptures. The vaults are cast-in-place, post-tensioned, reinforced concrete. Each 100-foot by 20-foot unit is supported on four two-foot square concrete columns at the ends. Between the vaults are seven-foot reinforced concrete channels that house the service elements for climate control and for electrical systems. The exterior is comprised of reinforced concrete, Italian travertine from Bagna di Tivoli, lead-coated copper roofing, glass, plastic, steel. The interior is comprised of concrete, travertine, quarter-sawn white oak, anodized aluminum, mill-finish stainless steel, slate, ceramic tile.

Architect: Louis I. Kahn

Size: 120,000 SF

Location: Fort Worth, Texas

  • AIA 25-Year Award

  • Engineering Excellence Award
    Presented by Consulting Engineers Council of Texas

  • Bartlett Design Award for Access & Usability for Disabled Persons
    Presented by AIA

  • Excellence in Architectural Design

  • Lumen Award
    Presented by Illumination Engineers Society

  • Inaugural “Build America” Award for Innovative Building Technique
    Presented by Associated General Contractors