In a different light
When the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, MO, USA) decided to expand its existing, circa-1933 building, it wanted an addition that would not only complement the existing structure but also convey a message about the institution's sophistication. The result is a US$200 million structure designed by celebrated architect Steven Holl, a 165,000 square-foot building that has received 10 American Institute of Architecture (AIA) design awards. This article examines the eight-year effort to design and construct this contemporary building--composed of five glass-clad pavilions--developed to help the museum realize its goal of increasing its annual attendance by 150,000. In doing so, it describes the challenges involved in constructing the addition, known as the Block Building, a structure built using new materials and innovative approaches. It explains how the project team adjusted the initial design specifications to ensure that the project met budget and scope targets. Accompanying this article is a sidebar reporting the evolution of the public's regard for the Bloch Building, from protestation to acceptance.