Years of yearning to see Japanese architect Tadao Ando's floating masterpiece weren't enough to prepare me for the quiet serenity that washed over me as I entered. Lively conversation with friends came to a halt and we could only stand there in silence, taking it all in with deep breaths of wonder.
Situated in what is known as Fort Worth's Cultural District, Tadeo Ando joins two other architectural luminaries and their own iconic buildings within a small triangular area: Louis Kahn's Kimbell Art Museum, and Philip Johnson's Amon Carter Museum of American Art.
Paying homage to Kahn, the Modern's five long, flat-roofed rectangular pavilions appear to float on a shallow 1.5 acre reflecting pond.
Forty-foot-high transparent walls of glass create an envelope for each structure, separating yet visually connecting one gallery to another. Beautifully patterned concrete walls enclose the lake and grounds to give a feeling of calm and peace under the big Texas sky.
Strategically placed to complement surrounding trees and delicately reflect in the pond, Roxy Paine's dynamic lightning branches seem to generate electricity.
The circular cafe and adjoining patio provide space for a quiet repast and time to ponder Tadao Ando's words: "I would like my architecture to inspire people to use their own resources, to move into the future."
Each of the five buildings offers a different view of the large reflecting pond, landscaped grounds and outdoor sculptures, as well as the surrounding buildings and the art within them.
Although the massive, flat concrete roof protects art and people from the intense Texas sun, the break between each one allows for just enough light and sky to peek through.
Descend the stairs to an open oval gallery, the perfect space for Anselm Kiefer's Book With Wings.
Deborah Butterfield's signature horse sculpture seems to grow out of bare tree branches when viewed from the second story.
Situated at the front of The Modern, and steps away from The Kimbell, the height of a vertical Richard Serra sculpture creates rich reverberations from those who choose to step inside and exercise their pipes. Try it!
To learn more: themodern.org
Keep cruisin'....Kimbell Art Museum....revisited