Johnston Marklee’s Menil Drawing Institute to Open in October

The 30,000-square-foot volum will sit at the center of the campus surrounded by green courtyards. All images courtesy Johnston Marklee.

The Menil Drawing Institute in Houston will debut this October in time for the 30th anniversary of the city’s Menil Collection. Los Angeles–based firm Johnston Marklee is spearheading the $40 million project, which will be dedicated to the collection and new exhibitions, as well as drawing studies. It will serve as the fifth building on the Menil campus.



Images courtesy Johnston Marklee.

The design, crafted in collaboration with landscape architecture firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, will span 30,000 square feet at the center of the 30-acre site. Two surrounding courtyards will be heavily populated with trees and will provide entry points to the building. While common areas will receive natural light, much of the interior will be crafted to protect sensitive paper works. The building’s roof will shade a third courtyard, which will serve as a multifunctional, open-air living room. The living room will connect to three enclosed volumes that will each operate as venues for study, socializing, and other programming.



Images courtesy Johnston Marklee.

Johnston Marklee also designed a nearby energy house as well as custom furniture with Jeff Jamieson.