Light at the Museum

How a new wing made a Kansas City classic cutting edge

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo., is a serene neoclassical building from 1933. A stately terraced lawn with a sculpture garden pours down from the grand south entrance. Nine years ago, when the museum's director, Marc Wilson, and his trustees decided it was time to expand, they began a search for architects. Eventually they whittled the list down to six. Nearly all the finalists proposed building on the parking lot at the building's rear, a location that wouldn't interfere with its grand fa├žade. Only Steven Holl dared to suggest an addition that would cascade down the eastern edge...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!