Steven Holl’s Bloch Building


We’re just back from Kansas City and the new Bloch Building, the long-awaited addition to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Steven Holl is a genius! The addition was so much more wonderful than I expected. As this New York Times review reports, much of the enjoyment of the building comes from the changing light of the translucent building throughout the day, but most dramatic was the late night view — although it would have been much better if the Henry Moore sculpture walk had also been lit for a night-time stroll.


What’s also great is the play between interior and exterior spaces like this section of the Noguchi gallery. What you may not realize at first is big chunks of the museum are buried underground, so you can actually go out a door, around a path, and next you’re on the grassy roof-tops of this gallery looking out over the sculpture garden and Kansas City below.

nelson.jpg The Bloch Building juxtaposes the classical architecture of the original musuem, but the best part, in a time when some trendy museums are made more for the architecture and less for showing art, the Bloch Building shows the art admirably.


For more amazing interior photos, go to this Inhabitat article.


7 thoughts on “Steven Holl’s Bloch Building”

  1. Pam, thanks for sharing these gorgeous photos. I’m envious of your trip as we plan a special road trip to KC just to see this space. Holl was set to design the new courthouse in Denver, but was fired (or quit or something) from the project. Sadly, Denver is without a Holl. The Nelson-Atkins was a wonderful museum to begin with and I remember when these designs were first drawn up. I’m thrilled they didn’t try to match the original building.

    1. Hello Pam, I would like to use your photo at the top of this blog for inclusion on a short piece that I am using for my PhD.

  2. Like most museums these days, you are allowed to take photos of anything that is part of the museum’s permanent collection. It’s the special exhibits and the works on loan that they are concerned about, because they don’t have permission to allow photos.

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