Asia Society Texas Center: The Capital Campaign for a New Regional Center
Construction got under way in January 2010 on Asia Society Texas Center's new $48.4 million, 38,000-square-foot headquarters. The project is on schedule, with the Grand Opening set for April 2012.
Here are a few of the many economic benefits the building will bring to the State of Texas:
- Educate Houstonians for a Shared Future: By 2015 Asia will represent more than 60 percent of the world's population. This will have a tremendous impact on the global economy, climate, and energy needs, creating challenges that require global solutions. By increasing understanding of Asia's cultures, history, religions, and politics, Asia Society Texas Center will contribute to finding these solutions.
- Network Houston with Asia: Asia Society Texas Center will be the only physical presence of Asia Society in the United States other than the New York City center and will provide clear access to international business and political leaders from Asia. The physical presence of Asia Society Texas Center will be a magnet to draw those key political and corporate players to our city and open doors for more Houstonians to do business in Asia.
- Create New Business for Houston: Through Asia Society's corporate conferences and other corporate programs, Asia Society brings new business to Houston.
- Promote Increased Trade: Asia Society Texas Center will partner with The Port of Houston and the Greater Houston Partnership to promote increased trade with various parts of Asia.
- Increase Tourism: Houston is already known around the world for stunning architectural landmarks-Mies van de Rohe's Cullinan Hall at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Pennzoil Place by Philip Johnson; The Menil Collection by Renzo Piano; and now Yoshio Taniguchi's only freestanding building in the U.S.—Asia Society's Texas Center.
About the Center
Designed by luminary architect Yoshio Taniguchi, the building will not only stimulate the intellect but also inspire as architecture. Taniguchi is best known in the U.S. for his 2004 expansion of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Asia Society's new educational and cultural center will be composed of five major program components—a three-room classroom and conference suite, an art gallery, a theater, public reception spaces, and administrative offices. Three unique gardens, a gift shop, and café enrich the space and enhance services.
The building is located on Southmore Boulevard at Caroline. The unique location of the site and Taniguchi's architectural response allow for views from the building into a block-long, park-like setting. The building has two stories, with public spaces on both levels. A water garden will provide a spectacular view across the street, over the landscaped parking lot and toward the downtown skyline. The creation of a more idealized site condition within an architecturally heterogeneous and rapidly changing neighborhood is reminiscent of the approach for the Menil Foundation's "village museum," only a short distance from the new Center.