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Thu April 27, 2006
A Preview of the New Bloch Building
By Laura Spencer
Kansas – The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art held a regional media briefing Thursday, April 27 (2006) to discuss the $360 million campus transformation plan with nearly 20 reporters from Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Colorado. It marked the first group media tour of the inside and outside of the Stephen Holl designed Bloch Building, the new addition along the museum's east lawn. KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.
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In 1999, architect Stephen Holl was awarded the commission for the Bloch Building. Instead of using the existing 1933 neoclassical building as a backdrop, his plan scatters five glass lenses, made of twin layers of glass walls, along the east lawn with light reflected into the galleries below and appearing to glow at night. During a walkthrough of the Bloch Building yesterday, Holl said light is central to the building's concept:
Stephen Holl: The light is working in this building like sound does in music. Without the light, you don't have the space or the architecture. So it's very important the subtleties of the light can be seen and understood.
The 165,000 square foot Bloch Building will house the museum's modern and contemporary art, African art, and photography collections, as well as special exhibitions, a cafe, library, and executive offices. It's scheduled to open in summer 2007.