About the Project

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston campus unites the brilliant architectural and design work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Isamu Noguchi and Rafael Moneo, part of a legacy of inspired commissions that spans from 1924—and the construction of the original Museum building designed by William Ward Watkin in the Neoclassical style—to the year 2000, when the Museum completed the Rafael Moneo-designed Audrey Jones Beck Building.

Tellepsen began a long-standing relationship with the MOFA with the original Watkin Building in 1924, notable for the large standing pillars at the main entrance. This relationship led to more collaborations, including the 1926 addition of an east and west wing to the Watkin Building. The Museum of Fine Arts Houston was a place created to display new artwork but to also provide a place to teach painting, sculpting, and others. The museum is still being used to educate and entertain as was intended in 1926.

The construction of these buildings occurred early in the career of Tellepsen founder, Tom Tellepsen. During this time he was known for his creative thinking. For example, during the construction of the Watkin building, Tom was able to utilize horse and carriage to transport material from the railroads to the jobsite.

The Numbers

  • 130,000

    Sq Ft
  • 1


The Details

Type: New Construction
Sector(s): Community
Client: Museum of Fine Arts Houston


  • Architect: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Isamu Noguchi, and Rafael Moneo

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