Kimbell Museum
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Architect Louis I. Kahn
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Location Fort Worth, Texas   map
Date 1967 to 1972   timeline
Building Type art museum
 Construction System reinforced concrete
Climate temperate
Context urban park setting
Style Modern
Notes vaulted ceilings with integrated daylighting


Photo, exterior

Photo, exterior

Photo, exterior, porch space


Elevation Drawing

Lower Plan Drawing

Elevation Drawing

Section Drawing

Site Plan Drawing

Upper Plan Drawing

Elevation Drawing

3D Model
3D Massing Model (DesignWorkshop 3dmf)

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Discussion Kimbell Museum Commentary

"The Kimbell Art Museum by Louis Kahn is also a disciplined, coherent, and visually clear statement, but here the aesthetics derive from the more classically oriented sensiblity of its architect. It has an austere yet rich simplicity that comes from the repetition of a vaultlike form, given a dull sheen from its lead-covered exterior, and a beautifully articulated concrete structural frame with infill paneled walls of travertine. Its classic sense of timelessness is ennobled by a reverence for material and detail. Its interior form, bathed in a diffused natural light that enters the space via continuous interior suspended screen and reflected downward off the curve of the vault."

— from Paul Heyer. American Architecture: Ideas and Ideologies in the Late Twentieth Century. p278-279.

"...Louis Kahn...was perhaps the best among the architects of this century to illustrate expressive honesty and integrity with regard to the coordination of materials with a total architectural vision.

"Louis Kahn's Kimbell Art museum in Fort Worth is a masterpiece in this respect. A survey of the numerous studies of the building demonstrate a care for 'fit' that can only be compared to the perfection of the classics, especially the Greek classics. Kahn put the use of tools and machines to the ultimate architectonic end; with them he produced buildings that were composites of parts working in total harmony among themselves and with the whole. There is no Kahn building that does not give evidence of his genius in the use of materials. He has achieved perfection in buildings with all sorts of budgetary constraints, from the most modest to the monumental...."

— from Anthony C. Antoniades. Poetics of Architecture: Theory of Design. p220.


American Institute of Architects 25 Year Award, 1990

Sources on Kimbell Museum

Anthony C. Antoniades. Poetics of Architecture: Theory of Design. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992. ISBN 0-442-01330-2. LC 89-36617. NA2750.A65 1990. discussion p220.

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. drawings and diagrams, p52-53. — Updated edition available at

Donald Corner and Jenny Young. Slide from photographer's collection. PCD.2260.1012.1841.031. PCD.2260.1012.1841.030

Howard Davis. Slide from photographer's collection.nnPCD.2260.1012.1702.064. PCD.2260.1012.1702.065. PCD.2260.1012.1702.066. PCD.2260.1012.1702.067. PCD.2260.1012.1702.068. PCD.2260.1012.1702.069. PCD.2260.1012.1702.070

Paul Heyer. American Architecture: Ideas and Ideologies in the Late Twentieth Century. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1993. ISBN 0-442-01328-0. LC 92-18415. NA2750.H48 1993. discussion p278-279.

Patricia Cummings Loud. The Art Museums of Louis I. Kahn. USA: Duke University Press, 1989. 89-51072. ISBN 0-8223-0998-X. extensive discussion, p100-171.

William S. Saunders. Modern Architecture—Photographs by Ezra Stoller. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3816-2. exterior photo, p130. exterior detail, p131. interior photo, p132, 133. — A wonderful & inspiring book of beautiful photographs by the master of architectural photography. Available at

Marcus Whiffen and Frederick Koeper. American Architecture. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1984. interior photo, f345, p433. — An excellent survey of American architecture. Reprint Edition available at

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Kimbell Museum


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