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Light, Ceilings and Floors. The Menil Collection

May 31, 2011

On a recent visit to Houston, I took a quick run to the Montrose enclave to visit the Menil collection. Art installations, matching bungalows, tree lined park lawns and the thick texas heat create a surreal museum experience. The center piece of the campus is the Renzo Piano designed central building that houses the core collection as well as changing exhibits.

While the collections are impressive, the art viewing experience is elevated by how uniquely the building captures and manipulates light. Diffused natural light, softened through Pianos louvre system, incandescent lighting, white walls, and dark glossy hardwood flooring cast, reflect and soften light like no other museum. This intense focus on manipulating light continues throughout the Menil Campus. The Rothko Chapel and Cy Twombly Gallery are contemplative shrines to perfect art lighting. The lighting here has become more than a function of illuminating art, but has become a brand that defines the museum and separates it from all others.

To read more about the Menil Collection and the Montrose Enclave click here.

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