The Menil Drawing Institute, designed by architects Johnston Marklee in Houston, Texas, USA, opened in November 2018. This unique facility was built exclusively for the exhibition, study, preservation and acquisition of contemporary drawings.
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French-American collector and philanthropist Dominique de Menil loved to wear a mink coat inside out to feel the fur on her skin. For Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, this biographical detail became a metaphor for a new project.
Menil Drawing Institute. The transparent building with trees in the courtyard (landscaped by architect Michael Van Valkenburg) continues what Menil collectors had conceived seven decades ago.
Today, Johnston Marklee favors subdued, modest or neutral façades that hide a wealth of ideas, spaces and materials. Johnston describes their effect as 'delayed gratification'.
Natural light & mdash; kryptonite for graphic sheets, but the architects developed a way to simulate light levels by arranging three roofs with variable lighting.
The Drawing Institute is attached to the Menil campus, which includes the Rothko Chapel, the main museum of the Menil collection, designed by Renzo Piano, which houses the Menil collection and the Twombly gallery. The Menil family home was designed in 1950 by Philip Johnson as the site that defined their subsequent architectural DNA. It runs through the entire Menil campus.
The first exhibition of the new institute will be dedicated to the graphics of Jasper Johns.
Johnston Marklee & mdash; an architectural firm founded in 1998 by Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, today they & mdash; eminent professors at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Since its inception in Los Angeles, Johnston Marklee has gained national and international recognition with over 30 major awards and accolades.
Recent projects include the renovation of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, California's new campus, and the design of Dropbox's San Francisco headquarters.