With the last project by architect Louis Kahn before his death in 1974, the design is considered by many as the best piece of architecture within the City of Fort Worth. The building consists of a modular arrangement of 16 cycloid vaults. They are constructed with post-tensioned concrete. The building is "U" shaped with an entry courtyard in the middle. A vault on the west porch of each wing is open, providing a shaded walkway to the entrance from both Camp Bowie and Lancaster. A pool with one change in level flanks the open vaults. The north and south elevations feature 6 vaults in a series with the non-supporting portions of the walls clad in travertine. Skylights are located at the top of each vault and run their entire length. Light is diffused into the space by a series of baffles located inside the vaults. Within the building are several courtyards that break up the series of vaults and provide garden areas and focal points for sculptures. It is said that the inspiration for the design of the building came from the vaulted Livestock Exhibits Buildings to the south of the Will Rogers main buildings. Parking is hidden away on the east side of the building where it is recessed below grade. Landscaping hides the parking lot and loading dock from Arch Adams Street on the east. A secondary entrance is located on the lower level of the museum from this parking lot. Preston M. Geren Associates was the Associate Architect and the museum was built by Thos. S. Byrne.
In need of more space, the museum constructed the Renzo Piano Pavilion on the west lawn. It opened on November 27, 2013.
Louis Kahn, Philadelphia
Preston M. Geren Associates, Fort Worth
Thos. S. Byrne, Fort Worth