HOUSTON – McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has been awarded Association of General Contractors’ (AGC) 2022 Construction Risk Partners Build America Award, in the Building New or Renovation category. McCarthy was honored for the firm’s work on the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) Nancy and Rich Kinder Building. The Build America awards honor AGC members who build the nation’s most impressive construction projects ranging across the building, highway and transportation, utility infrastructure, and federal and heavy divisions. The awards are considered among the most prestigious in the United States construction industry.
Completed in late 2020, the MFAH’s Kinder Building, a 243,632-square-foot exhibition building housing modern and contemporary art, at Texas’ oldest museum was the largest cultural project in North America. The Kinder Building features three floors of galleries that circle a three-story central atrium, a 225-seat theater, full kitchen, street-level café, restaurant overlooking the sculpture garden, a 115-space underground parking garage, and two pedestrian tunnels with art exhibits that connect the other buildings across the MFAH campus.
With the many architectural intricacies, the construction of the Kinder Building project was incredibly complex. The exterior façade was designed to be translucent and transparent, covered by approximately 1,100 semicircular glass tubes, 30 inches in diameter. The glass tubes are referred to as the “cool jacket” attached to a concrete wall, supported by a catwalk system to allow maintenance and cleaning. Another feature includes the “billowing clouds of Texas” roof, with concave individual pieces forming scallops, and within the scallops are clerestory windows to provide natural light to the third-floor galleries and the atrium. There are 23 different roof structures, giving the roof a scalloped look with complex concave sections. The steel for the roof was custom-built, with no two beams the same, reflecting the different curves in the ceiling and roof.
“The Kinder Building is truly a piece of art itself. The project team went to great lengths to ensure the highest level of execution and quality of materials for this project, including several unique design elements requiring an innovative approach,” said McCarthy Houston Division President, Jim Stevenson.
”We are very pleased to be recognized for our hard work and dedication to construction excellence on such a challenging world-class project.”
The Kinder building has become an iconic landmark in the museum district of Houston and has been recognized across the globe for its unique architecture and construction techniques. McCarthy worked closely with the design team, Steven Holl Architects, from the project’s inception to ensure the vision of the museum came to life. McCarthy utilized innovative technologies to construct models and plan for the unique challenges, features, and materials. McCarthy incorporated several technological advances into the project, including leveraging the design team’s Architectural Rhino 3D model of the geometric roof structure.
In addition to the AGC Build America Award, the Kinder Building has received numerous construction and architecture awards, including: 2021 ENR TX/LA Regional Best Project, ENR TX/LA Project of the Year, ENR Best of the Best project in the cultural/worship category, 2021 Houston Business Journal Landmark Award for Community Impact, 2021 Texas Society of Architects Design Award, 2021 AZ Award Finalist 2020 Architectural Digest, Most Anticipated Building of the Year, 2020 Vanceva World of Color Awards – Exterior Category Winner, and 2020 Azure Magazine Top 10 Architecture Projects of the Year
McCarthy also served as the construction manager at-risk for phase one of MFAH’s expansion. This phase included the new 102,500 square-foot Glassell School of Art, which also won awards including 2018 ASA Excellence in Construction Awards (Project of the Year over $25 million), 2019 ENR Regional Best Project – specialty construction category, 2019 HBJ Landmark Award – special project category, and 2016 HBJ Deal of the Year – Hospitality & Tourism.
McCarthy has a long-standing history of building complex, architecturally significant projects in the entertainment and arts industry. In addition to the MFAH, McCarthy’s Texas portfolio of entertainment and institutional projects includes the award-winning Glassell School of Art, the Kinder High School for Visual and Performing Arts, and the Holocaust Museum Houston, as well as the AT&T Performing Arts Center Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre in Dallas, Dallas’ Klyde Warren Park located over Woodall Rogers Freeway and the Dallas City Performance Hall, among others.
A video discussing the construction of MFAH’s Kinder Building can be found here.