The Nasher's Neighbor


Built adjacent to Dallas’ renowned Nasher Sculpture Center, Museum Tower’s outer convex glass framework is apparently scorching the paintings, sculptures, and architecture housed within the museum’s grounds. Alex Dent reports for The Fox Is Black:

The tall, gleaning tower was designed by Johnson Fain, an LA-based firm that describes the project on their website saying that it “is surrounded by distinguished architecture and exterior public space.” The tower the firm designed just so happens to be scorching the distinguished architecture and exterior public space around it with the sunlight reflected off of its convex glazing. And not an insignificant amount, enough to dammage paintings and kill vegetation. So instead of even and soft daylight filtering through the roof of the Nasher, the museum is being bombarded by focused and damaging sunlight through those thousands of north-facing occuli.

The Nasher Sculpture Center is one of my favorite places in Dallas. Housed amid buzzing traffic and bustling businesses, the Nasher provides wonderful punctuation for the cityscape. Museum Tower — and the poor architectural considerations therein — provides no such benefit.

Unfortunately, Museum Tower is not doing anything legally wrong, thus leaving the Nasher Sculpture Center with little means for recourse. Responding to this particular problem, Mr. Dent suggests:

So what should the Nasher do? I think it’s time for the respected museum to stoop to the level of the developers scorching their institution and commission a new sculpture for their garden– a large parabolic mirror that focuses sunlight into Museum Tower.

Continuing the topic, D Magazine, a former employer of mine, has produced a phenomenal article examining the impact of the tower upon the Nasher and its neighbors.

In his article, Tim Rogers writes that re-skinning the tower would cost an estimated $20 million, as compared to Ray Nasher’s $500 million investment in the surrounding area. Such numbers, particularly when paired with the city of Dallas’ apparent culpability in allowing such a crime to occur, renders the prospect of a solution within the realm of possibility.

But, given the bureaucracy of local government and the sheer magnitude of such work, my hopes are — sadly — rather low.