Renzo Piano's new building addition to the Louis Kahn-designed Kimbell Art Museum opens to the public next week. Piano spoke to reporters at a press preview Tuesday at the Fort Worth, Texas, museum—and here are some early takes on the building prior to the Nov. 27 opening.


Critic James Russell argues that in choosing Piano, Hon. FAIA, to design the expansion, "Kimbell got what it signed on for: a predictable, restrained elegance." Russell contrasts Kahn’s intimacy and sensuality with Piano’s severity. [Bloomberg]

Critic Inga Saffron says Piano’s pavillion is uninspiring in comparison to the original building and does Kahn a "disservice," noting Piano’s removal of century-old oak trees that inspired Kahn’s landscape design. Saffron calls the expansion "lifeless" and "lackluster," a dull rendering of minimalist architecture.  [The Philadelphia Inquirer]

According to architect Witold Rybczynski, Hon. FAIA, Piano’s pavilion enhances the visitors’ experience of the Kimbell by providing access to views of the Kahn building not previously attainable. He writes on ARCHITECT's site that Kahn’s building has crude details that make it endearing, while Piano’s addition is more precise and reflects how building techology has advanced since Kahn’s day. [ARCHITECT]

Arts critic Ray Mark Rinaldi writes that Piano’s design is "timely" in reflecting the trends of the present day and argues that in some ways, Piano’s addition is superior to Kahn’s building. Rinaldi compliments the open space and natural light in Piano’s pavilion, but believes that Kahn’s design brought the visitor closer to the art. [The Denver Post]