ABOUT THE ARCHITECTS: LEGORRETA + LEGORRETA
In memory of Ricardo Legorreta
The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History offers memorial condolences to the family and the company of Ricardo Legorreta. The visionary architect’s playfully practical design for the Museum’s campus (completed in 2009) has established not only a landmark addition to the Fort Worth Cultural District but also a beacon of learning, entertainment, and enlightenment for the world’s community of progressive museums.
Ricardo Legorreta died at 80 in his native Mexico City on Dec. 30, 2011.
The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History’s new world-class campus was designed by the internationally acclaimed architectural firm, Legorreta + Legorreta. Ricardo Legorreta, who operates the Mexico City-based firm with his son, Victor, is a 2000 Gold Medal Award winner of the American Institute of Architecture. This is the highest honor the AIA confers on individual architects.
A committee of Museum trustees, working closely with the exhibit creators and city leaders, chose the firm following a thorough competition. “Their work reflects the excitement and vitality that is in sync with a learning environment,” said Richard Russack, a Museum trustee and member of the selection committee.
Ricardo Legorreta described the new building as a “very happy environment, a building for kids, young people and adults. ” An iconic, 60-foot ‘urban lantern’ will serve as the main entrance to the 166,000-square-foot building. The elegant entry, marked by clean lines, will invite natural light into the building during the day and softly illuminate the surrounding area and grounds in the evening. The new building will face the Will Rogers Memorial Center to the east and opens onto a broad plaza that will connect the museum more closely to its neighbors, both the Will Rogers Center and, in particular, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.
The interior will embrace the natural world with courtyards and indoor-outdoor spaces, skylights, pergolas, and abundant natural light. “The light contributes to the beauty and the mystery of the inside, beginning with the urban lantern,” Legorreta said. “I want people to walk, to discover, and then by the changing of the natural light during the day and all the seasons, they will keep discovering the building every time they visit. We want people to know and feel it is their building.”
“We’re thrilled with the Legorreta plans,” said Van A. Romans, the Museum’s president. “It is so exciting that our Museum’s dynamic learning programs and rich collections will be enveloped by a truly remarkable building, one that will serve our community for another 50 years.”
Legorreta + Legorreta has designed noteworthy buildings around the world. Among its many projects, the firm is highly regarded for designing new museum facilities, such as El Papalote Children’s Museum and the National Center for the Arts , both in Mexico City; Zandra Rhodes Museum in London; and the Tech Museum of Innovation and Children’s Discovery Museum, both in San Jose, California. The Legorreta name will be added to the list of prominent architects whose landmark buildings have elevated the stature of Fort Worth’s Cultural District.
“I am convinced that what we architects need to do is to try to make better cities, not just make better buildings in themselves,” said Legorreta.