Best Public Building
This Museum of Fine Arts Houston project is an excellent example of efficiency, creativity, and precision that precast concrete can add to a project.
Due to the short construction schedule, the benefits of off-site precasting was realized when each floor was able to be erected in less than a week.
The building’s almost relentless whiteness makes it a metaphorical blank slate from which students can conjure their own visions. Its heart are the studios themselves, 35 in all and of varying size, each filled with clean bright light. That light streams in from the broad trapezoidal glass panes, which are supplemented by 3-foot-square operable windows notched into the concrete panels. From the exterior, these small cutout windows give the concrete panels almost human form, like abstracted Easter Island heads.
Of these studios, the choicest are the five extra-large workspaces on the third-floor dedicated to the Core Residency program. These are sequestered around their own skylit central gathering space, and have a private entry, so that the fellows can come and go as they please at all hours.