Press Release: 06.15.2015

Expanding the Arts in Houston

McCarthy Prepares to Begin Work on Expansion of Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Construction projects in the arts and entertainment industry are high-profile projects due to their economic contribution and addition to a community’s visual landscape. Each project poses unique challenges to owner, city and public interests and requires working with an experienced contractor who is flexible and adaptable.

In January, McCarthy was selected to expand the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), one of the largest museums in the United States and the oldest art museum in Texas. McCarthy has a long-standing history of building complex, architecturally significant projects in the entertainment and arts industry, having built projects such as the award-winning Dolby Theatre (formerly Kodak Theatre) in Hollywood, AT&T Performing Arts Center Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre in Dallas, Dallas’ Klyde Warren Park located over Woodall Rogers Freeway, and the Dallas City Performance Hall. McCarthy has refined its construction process to ensure seamless communication from preconstruction and planning stages to project completion and beyond. Our goal is to build an iconic facility for the city of Houston of which owners, city officials and the public can be proud.

For the MFAH, McCarthy is using the Construction Manager-At-Risk (CMAR) delivery method. To manage challenges surrounding job duration and potential cost escalation, the project team is proactively partnering with subcontractors and vendors early in the design process to safeguard against risky market costs and to help control costs for owners and clients.

The MFAH project is located in the heart of the Museum District, a culture-filled location attracting more than 8 million visitors each year. The redevelopment of the 14-acre campus consists of a new exhibition building, art school, parking garage with two levels below grade, rooftop garden, architecturally significant tunnel connectors, extensive site development, and central plant. McCarthy is partnering with program manager The Projects Group along with architects Steven Holl and Kendall Heaton to construct the new 164,000-square-foot exhibition building set to house 20th- and 21st-century art, in addition to the new 80,000-square-foot facility for the Glassell School of Art. Both the exhibition hall and school will link to two existing gallery buildings and a sculpture garden, creating a 14-acre public campus between downtown and the Texas Medical Center. Construction for the project will begin in July 2015 and is scheduled for completion in 2019.

Architecturally, the school consists of a hybrid precast and cast-in-place structure with exposed matching finishes. The exhibition hall contains large, free span spaces and state-of-the-art glass.

Both of these architectural details require demanding construction tasks. To ensure flawless delivery, McCarthy is functioning as the builder as well as a partner to the owner and design teams, working closely with all parties to develop innovative solutions to deliver these architectural features.

McCarthy is excited to begin work on this exciting new addition to the Houston community and look forward to not only delivering the final product, but also visiting the expanded MFAH after completion.

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