Facing each other across a beautiful urban green, the two buildings do indeed speak to each other. Kahn's building is heavy and muscular, feeling at once ancient and modern. Piano's new building--now known as "The Piano Pavilion"--is roughly the same proportions as Kahn's, but has a lightness and transparency to it that is at once a counterpoint and complement to the venerable Kahn building. Piano says that if Kahn's building is about "gravitas," his building is about "levitas." It's gently inserted into the museum's park-like landscape like a glass jewel box, helping to frame the formal lawn and grove between the two buildings without overwhelming it.
The Fort Worth Business Press asked me to write an analysis of the new building and provide an illustration, so I attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony on November 27, sketching on location in below-freezing temperatures. The sketch captures the new building as seen from my vantage point on the lawn, with the 1933 Will Rogers Tower in the background. The article ran in mid-December, and caught the eye of the museum's guiding spirits and chief benefactors, Ben and Kay Kimbell Fortson. I'm deeply honored that the original sketch above now hangs in their private collection in Fort Worth, next to some of Renzo Piano's early concept sketches for the Piano Pavilion. If you are interested in seeing my entire article, you can visit my blog here: James Richards Sketchbook