21. November 2013

The Passion and Pavilion of Renzo Piano

from Angie Tennyson
Renzo Piano tossing a Frisbee for the press.
Renzo Piano tossing a Frisbee for the press.

The conversation is turning up on Renzo Piano this week as dozens of publications discuss the upcoming opening of the Piano Pavilion, the expansion to the Kimbell Art Museum.


While just a few months ago, Renzo Piano was named Senator for Life in Italy. This month marks the opening of the modest and highly respected Piano Pavilion, which accompanies the grounds with the Louis Kahn masterpiece. Modest, because of the small footprint of the 90,000 sq. ft. space, compared to the neighboring Kahn building at 120,000 sq. ft. 

Piano, who studied under Kahn, was interviewed by Chris Boyd to get his insight on the Piano Pavilion addition to the Kahn masterpeice.

Piano pointed out that there was a delicate way in which he had to find the right role and identity for the Piano Pavilion, while respecting the Kahn building. He compared this to the physiological distance in which a conversation takes place between two people, and how it establishes the dialogue- to have an “equal dignity” between the buildings. This space between the two buildings is 65 yards, just enough greenspace to toss a frisbee.

During the interview, Piano shared his thoughts on the Fundamental Elements of Making a Good Building;

“Certainly you need a good architect, but even more certainly, you need a good client. And a good client is not a client that tells you, “Yes,” a good client is someone asking questions, and challenging you- putting trust and love… Architects need some love.”

The interview with Piano showed the passion he has for creating and building. He talked about the poetry of construction, which is seen in the creative video portrayals of the construction, including the two key areas, where the Piano Pavilion incorporate the use of Isokorb® thermal breaks; the beams, and the concrete wall.

The videography of Ultan Guilfoyle is a collection of art, in its own.  

Installation of the Beams:

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The Roof Landscape:

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Renzo’s Walls:

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Over the past year we have provided update on Piano’s Kimbell Art Museum expansion project, from September 2013 and update from September 2012.  Yet nothing compares to the showcasing of such eliquate coverage of the construction seen in these video and the photography by Robert Polidori. Thank you Renzo Piano, we do love great Architects!




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