Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Kimbell Art Museum Expansion

Renzo Piano Pavilion

The permanent art collection of Kimbell Art Museum now has a home in the Kahn building, allowing the expansion to the museum, with the Renzo Piano pavilion, to feature special expositions and education programs.

The Renzo Piano expansion added 90,000 sq. ft. to the Kimbell Art Museum, featuring bays and a louvered roof system with photo-voltaics. The new energy efficient Piano pavilion resembles the Kahn's building in height, scale and general layout, yet it was designed to be more open and transparent. Renzo Piano displays his appreciation for natural light, yet remains dedicated to the goal to incorporate energy savings, with an innovative roof system.

Energy Efficient Strategies

The Piano Pavilion integrates various energy efficient strategies that reduce the new structure's energy requirements to just half that of the Khan building. "Because only a third of the interior is above ground, the museum will see greatly reduced demands for heating and cooling," says Renzo Piano in a press release. The pavilion also features a publicly accessible green roof, solar panels and Schöck Isokorb ® structural thermal breaks.

With a goal of being carbon neutral in mind, Piano incorporated Isokorb® structural thermal breaks for steel connections, as well as concrete for the connection at the parapet to the roof.

Roof of Wooden Beams with Steel Connections

Isokorb® connections were incorporated into the roof system of the eastern part of the building. The roof is supported by a total of 29 pairs of 100-foot wood beams. The laminated wood beams include steel headers and are connected in pairs with Isokorb® steel-to-steel thermal breaks, providing a column-free space for the full width of the 102-foot bays. The wood beam pairs are connected at the beams’ steel headers. Each pair of beams weighs 15 tons (30,000 pounds).

The roof system includes frosted glass which supports solar cells to collect energy. The solar cells are on adjustable louvers, which allow the control of light in the building. In addition, Isokorb® assemblies can be found at the entry, where the roof cantilever shield the building's glass front and interior from the sun. The wooden beam system was designed in collaboration with the New York–based Guy Nordenson and Associates as structural engineers.

Parapet Walls with Concrete Connections

In addition, Isokorb® concrete connections are found in the parapet wall connected to the 9" thick concrete roof, which is now covered by luscious grass. Isokorb® provides a thermal break from the concrete roof connection to the parapet. The Isokorb® thermal breaks were installed and the concrete was poured by Capform of Carrollton, Texas.

See below, where Isokorb® products have been installed, as well as some entertaining video of the construction.

A Glimpse into the Renzo Piano Pavilion

Renzo Piano's Landscape Roof installation

 Renzo Piano's Landscape Roof for the Kimbell Art Museum HD


Isokorb® steel-to-steel 
thermal breaks for canopies
and concrete-to-concrete
thermal breaks for parapets


Renzo Piano

Structural Engineering

Guy Nordenson & Associates

Construction Company

Beck Group

Concrete Subcontractor


Construction completed


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