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Architect Renzo Piano In Fort Worth To Speak About Kimbell Expansion

The Piano Pavilion is the addition that Renzo Piano designed for the Kimbell Art Museum.

On Monday’s Think, Italian architect Renzo Piano joined KERA’s Krys Boyd to talk about the Piano Pavilion, the addition he designed for the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth. A grand opening celebration for the Piano Pavilion is scheduled for Nov. 27. Previews for Kimbell members start Friday. The expansion provides the Kimbell with more room to display its collection, plus classrooms and a theater.

On Tuesday night,Piano joins Art&Seek’s Jerome Weeks on stage at Will Rogers Memorial Auditorium to talk about the project.

Listen to the podcast of the conversation that aired Monday.

Here are some highlights:

Why Piano loves Louis Kahn’s Kimbell building

“The building designed by Kahn is a perfect example of an unpretentious building. Good scale, small but strong. It’s at the same time brave and modest. It’s a masterpiece of clarity, structure – it’s well build, well done. What can I say? There are so many good reasons this building became a landmark.”

How he hopes his building will work alongside Kahn’s

“When you’re working close to a master like Kahn, you have to be careful because you cannot be arrogant, stupid. The master is the master. At the same time, you cannot humiliate yourself to the point of disappearance. You need a conversation that is not challenging – there’s no reason to challenge a building like that. It’s more like a conversation between – I don’t say peer – but equal dignity. The only big difference is Kahn is Kahn. … Probably the most important thing in this dialogue was to find the right distance. Because when you have two people talking to each other, there’s a kind of physiological distance, and if you’re too close to the other person, it doesn’t’ work. But if you’re too far, it doesn’t work either. So you need the right distance, and that right distance was something we looked for for a while.”

On visiting the Nasher Sculpture Center to check out the Museum Tower glare

“When I heard, I immediately went there. An architect is like a father or a mother maybe. You don’t make a building and then forget. … I know that it’s going to be solved. I have a specific feeling now that people are taking care and the problem will be solved, but it took some time. But, of course, it’s evident – you design a building that casts light from the north, and if somebody makes a big building on the north side, pushing back the radiation from the sun from the wrong side – of course, then, instead of having one south, you have two souths. One south is on south, the other south is on north. … This is something that everybody knows now, since at least 60 or 70 years, so I don’t know how something like that can happen. Anyway, it will be solved.”

Stephen Becker is executive producer of the "Think with Krys Boyd," which airs on more than 200 stations across the country. Prior to joining the Think team in 2013, as part of the Art&Seek team, Stephen produced radio and digital stories and hosted "The Big Screen" — a weekly radio segment about North Texas film — with Chris Vognar.