Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas
The Nasher Sculpture Center is an art museum and a study center located in the Arts District of Dallas, Texas.
Opened in October 2003, the center was created to publicly display the Raymond and Patsy Nasher sculpture collection and comprises a 60,000-square-foot building designed by prominent Italian architect Renzo Piano and a 1.4-acre sculpture garden.
Cover image; the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas with the work Eviva Amore by Mark di Suvero (2001) in the foreground. Photo by Tim Hursley.
The Nasher Sculpture Center occupies a rectangular plot in downtown Dallas, close to other cultural institutions including the Dallas Museum of Art, the Meyerson Symphony Center, the Winspear Opera House, and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
The building of the center designed by Piano consists of five barrel-vaulted parallel pavilions which contain the museum’s main gallery, a cafeteria, a shop, and administration offices on the ground floor, and a smaller exhibition space, workshops, educational rooms, and a 180-seat auditorium on the basement level.
The pavilions are covered by a translucent roof supported by travertine stone-clad walls. The roof is composed of glass panels capped by an ingenious shading system made up of 223,000 die-cast aluminum “nozzles” which, in order to protect artworks from excessive lighting, only allow direct light into the museum from the north.
Large windows provide expansive views of the sculpture garden from inside the museum; furthermore, the glass facade of the center is movable and can be opened to seamlessly connect the museum’s interior space and its garden, thus allowing for events and performances to take place simultaneously indoor and outdoor.
Close-up view of the north-west facade of the Nasher Sculpture Center. Image courtesy of Charles Sparks + Company.
Nasher Sculpture Center, site plan; the main building of the museum, consisting of five parallel pavilions, is on the right, with the sculpture garden on the left. Image courtesy of Renzo Piano Building Workshop.
Nasher Sculpture Center, entrance area. Photo Thomas Hawk.
Designed by Piano together with landscape architects Peter Walker & Partners, the sculpture garden ideally complements the main building of the center to create a unique ensemble.
As Renzo Piano says: “According to the customer’s requests, the museum had to be a quiet place – an oasis amid the local skyscrapers. The project’s aim was therefore to create a museum-garden that would astound the city from a sociological and anthropological standpoint (as if an archaeological find were to have suddenly been uncovered in the heart of a modern metropolis).“
Enclosed by travertine walls, the garden is an idyllic green space in the heart of Dallas, in which a rotating selection of 25 sculptures from the Nasher collection is surrounded by cedars, oaks, afghan pines, weeping willows, and bamboos.
The terraced outdoor space connecting the basement level of the museum with the sculpture garden. Image courtesy of Studio Terpeluk.
A view of the garden with “Elliptical column” by Tony Cragg in the foreground and “Three Bollards” by Alexander Calder in the background. Image courtesy of PWP Landscape Architecture.
The garden pool and the sculpture “Squares with Two Circles (Monolith)” by Barbara Hepworth (1963). Photo Jpellgen.
Collection, permanent exhibition, and program of events
The Nasher collection comprises over 300 sculptures by major modern and contemporary artists including Alexander Archipenko, Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Mark di Suvero, Jean Dubuffet, Alberto Giacometti, Jasper Johns, Anish Kapoor, Ellsworth Kelly, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Henri Moore, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, Richard Serra, and James Turrell, among others.
Artworks from the collection are exhibited on a rotational basis in changing exhibitions and inside the museum’s sculpture garden.
Together with temporary exhibitions of art, design, and architecture, including exhibitions especially aimed at highlighting young and emerging artists, the program of events of the center comprises educational activities, workshops for children and schools, lectures, concerts, and special events. The Nasher Sculpture Center is fully accessible to physically impaired people.
One of the barrel-vaulted pavilions that form the center’s main exhibition space on the ground floor; in the foreground: Richard Long, Midsummer Circles (1993). Photo by Tim Hursley.
The small gallery on the basement level. Photo courtesy of Studio Terpeluk.
The building of the Nasher Sculpture Center from the garden. Image courtesy of Renzo Piano Building Workshop.
An aerial view of Dallas’ Arts District; the Nasher Sculpture Center occupies the rectangular lot in the middle of the picture. Photo courtesy of Studio Terpeluk.
Ground floor plan and site sections. Images courtesy of Charles Sparks + Company.
Transverse section of one of the barrel-vaulted pavilions. Image courtesy of Charles Sparks + Company.
The “nozzles” of the roof-topping sun shading system from the outside. Image courtesy of Studio Terpeluk.
The shading system from the inside. Photo by Leonel Ponce.
Schematic view of the roof of the museum. Image courtesy of Studio Terpeluk.
The 2,500-square-foot auditorium on the basement level of the museum.
The sculptural work “My Curves Are Not Mad” by Richard Serra (1987) installed in the museum’s garden. Photo Jpellgen.
Exterior view with the work “The Long Night (From Ausias March to Vincent Andrés Estellés)” by Jaume Prensa (2003). Image courtesy of Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas.
How our readers rate this museum (you can vote)
More in Dallas – Fort Worth
Dallas – Fort Worth
More about Renzo Piano
copyright Inexhibit 2021 - ISSN: 2283-5474