Five low pavilions in travertine – brought from Italy and specially aged – glass, steel and oak. And the most surprising invention of the design, the roof – covered with an aluminium skin able to filter sunlight in such a way as to introduce only north light (excluding therefore south light with its intense ultraviolet rays).
This is the new Nasher Sculpture Center by Renzo Piano that officially opens on 20 October in Dallas in Texas. It is surrounded by an extensive garden with oak trees, cedars, afghan pines, magnolias, weeping willows and bamboo – a green oasis in a city centre dominated by traffic. “The garden is the continuation of the gallery”, explains Piano “and the museum is part of the garden, but with a roof”.
The museum is to hold the collection of Raymond D Nasher: 350 works including the original “Age of Bronze” by Rodin. As well as sculptures by Matisse, Moore, Giacometti, Calder, Mirò and Noguchi, the biggest private collection of modern sculpture. Commissioned and financed by Nasher himself, the building has cost 70 million dollars and is situated in what is known as the “arts neighbourhood”, 30 hectares where an opera house designed by Norman Foster is to be built as well as a theatre designed by Rem Koolhaas and where a new museum of modern art by Tadao Ando has recently been opened.