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In the spirit of the museums 25th anniversary, Director Josef Helfenstein has ann ounced Los Angeles-based Johnston

Marklee as the architects for the Menil Drawin g Institute (MDI) the Menil Collections first major expansion initiated under the ambitious master plan designed by David Chipperfield Architects. Once completed , MDI will be the first freestanding facility in America dedicated to modern and contemporary drawing, and one of the most advanced in the world. Johnston Markl ee was selected over David Chipperfield Architects, SANAA and Tatiana Bilbao. Johnston Marklee has proposed an approach that sensitively and ingeniously addres ses the challenges of accommodating the vital yet inherently delicate medium of drawing, Josef Helfenstein stated, as reported by Your Houston News. The firm unde rstands on the deepest level the distinctive role that MDI will play as a focal point for the entire campus, giving us an approach that will serve this importan t collection and elevate the future experience of the Menil as a whole. Continue reading for more. According to the reports by Your Houston News, Johnston Marklees single-story, me tal-roofed proposal was distinguished by its respect for the landscape and the r esidential scale of the Menils campus. Formed around a trio of courtyards, visito rs entering MDI will experience a gentle transition from the bright Texas sunlig ht to the enclosed, softly illuminated gallery space. They will first enter thro ugh one of two courtyard entrances into a semi-enclosed space that will lead the m into the buildings transparent living room that will serve as an intimate common gathering space for staff, scholars and the public. From the living room, the visi tors will then enter the fully enclosed, flexible gallery space filled with cont rolled, reflected natural light. Established in February 2008 by the Menil Collection, the Menil Drawing Institut e and Study Center has been dedicated solely to the collection, exhibition, and study of modernist drawing, including the mediums role in contemporary artistic p ractice. The institute contains more than 1200 works of some of the most leading figures in twentieth-century art, such as Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, Lee Krasner , Jasper Johns, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Ellsworth Kelly , Michael Heizer, and Robert Gober. The collection reaches as far back as Rembra ndt and Delacroix, but concentrates mainly on modern and contemporary artists. MDIs new 18,000 square-foot addition is devoted to exhibition, study, conservatio n, archives, and storage. The facility is expected to be completed sometime in the next three to five year s. Reference: Your Houston News, The Menil Collection