Architecture: Building with Spent Light

Under the harsh Texas light, Louis Kahn's building is exactly what it seems:

a tour de force of explicitness. The subject of the building is twofold: art, and what makes art manifest—light.

Seen from outside, Kimbell Art Museum looks like a group of barrel vaults running horizontally across the flat terrain of Fort Worth. Five of the vaults are closed at the ends to form galleries, offices and storage space; their roofs, sheathed unexpectedly in lead, glisten like old pewter in the sun. The sixth is open, a portico opening generously toward the street...

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