No. 130 . 15 January 2003 
ArchitectureWeek
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Ando's New Modern

by Elizabeth Bollinger

The opening of a new building designed by world-renowned architect Tadao Ando of Osaka, Japan at the end of 2002 marked the 110th anniversary of The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. With 53,000 square feet (4,900 square meters) of gallery space, the new structure for "The Modern," as it is known by locals, is Ando's largest commission in the United States to date.

The front entrance of the museum is sleek and simple but masks what lies beyond. From inside the main lobby, the building opens up to a magnificent two-acre (0.8-hectare) pool in which three gallery pavilions reflect. Beyond the pool lie a several-acre garden and the city, inspiring both the calm of nature and the energy of the distant skyline.

The gallery pavilions are constructed with massive concrete walls that boldly express the structure while serving to protect the collection within. Ando is distinguished for his exquisite work in concrete. He explains that the quality of this work depends not on the mix of the material itself, but rather on the formwork into which the concrete is poured. Well crafted, watertight wooden forms are essential, and Ando's forms are varnished to achieve the smooth finish.   >>>

 

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