The galleries are organized around a series of “Breathing T's,” structural elements that allow both north and south light into the galleries while providing a mechanical service zone below.
The parking garage is transformed into an unexpected art installation as light is allowed to permeate the below grade space through the circular skylights, part of the Walter De Maria sculpture above, One Sun / 34 Moons. Column wall sconces fitted with 250W metal halide lamps uplight the concrete ceiling.
As seen from the north (pictured) and the south (next image), the new addition to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art engages the existing museum, the sculpture park, and the surrounding neighborhood.
An early watercolor sketch by Steven Holl lays out the project's design concept—a series of “lenses” folded into the landscape.
By day and by night (next image) the geometric forms of the new addition cast a strong profile and compliment the 1933 Atkins building.
A diagram explains the relationship between the new gallery spaces, and how the project as a whole occupies the site.
At night the Bloch Building's five “lenses” glow from within forming an illuminated edge to the museum's 22-acre sculpture park.