Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to Build Temporary Pavilion in Conjunction with World’s Fair Exhibition

Following a late-November request for proposals, The Nelson- Atkins Museum of Art has chosen five design teams from a pool of 15 to construct a temporary pavilion on the museum grounds to coincide with the exhibition Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs 1851–1939, which opens April 14. A panel of judges, including Bloch Building architect Steven Holl, will choose the winning design, which will be announced on Feb. 1.

Ex3 by Hufft Projects

Designers and architects were encouraged to work in collaborative teams. The five teams competing are:

Hufft Projects
Edwin Blue Derek Porter Studio Lea Griggs, artist

Sun Pavilion
Generator Studio
Tm Gratkowski, artist Brightergy Solar Solutions Thorton Tomasetti

t2 Centric Projects Zahner Company Brightergy Solar Solutions
Thornton Tomasetti Cultivate Kansas City UMKC Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design


A Temporary Front Porch
el dorado inc DESIGN+MAKE (a Kansas State University graduate architecture studio) Derek Porter Studio Burns and McDonnell Planet ReUse Kansas City Habitat ReStore

The teams will make a presentation to selected Nelson-Atkins staff later in January, and the winning team will be decided by a panel of judges including Holl.

“We are delighted with the number of proposals we received in such a short time,” said Zugazagoitia. “This project has piqued the interest of designers and architects around the world, and it is very exciting to look through these innovative designs.”

Pavilions were the traditional gathering places for world’s fairs, which debuted the most important technological and stylistic advancements on an international stage. The guidelines for the pavilion project were specific. The teams were encouraged to employ innovative materials and could not expect the museum to contribute more than $20,000 to the budget.

“The pavilion project showcases the innovation and creativity that world’s fairs promoted,” said Futter. “This brings our exhibition into the 21st century by celebrating the very latest in architecture and design.”

Proposals were submitted from around the world by a variety of designers and architects, including the 8-year-old daughter of an architect in Kansas City. The pavilion will be open to the public during the Inventing the Modern World exhibition, which runs from April 14 to Aug. 19.

The Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City is recognized nationally and internationally as one of America’s finest art museums. The Nelson-Atkins serves the community by providing access and insight into its renowned collection of more than 33,500 art objects and is best known for its Asian art, European and American paintings, photography, modern sculpture, and new American Indian and Egyptian galleries. Housing a major art research library and the Ford Learning Center, the Museum is a key educational resource for the region. The institution-wide transformation of the Nelson- Atkins has included the 165,000-square-foot Bloch Building expansion and renovation of the original 1933 Nelson-Atkins Building.

The Nelson-Atkins is located at 45th and Oak Streets, Kansas City, MO. Hours are Wednesday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; Thursday/Friday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sunday, Noon–5 p.m. Admission to the Museum is free to everyone. For Museum information, phone 816.751.1ART (1278) or visit

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