Ibañez Shaw’s Fort Worth Camera Studios land in Texas
Fort Worth is blessed with a wide range of cultural institutions by an enviable array of international architecture heavyweights. With Louis Khan’s Kimbell Art Museum (including Renzo Piano’s recent extension) and a modern art museum by Tadao Ando, the Texan city easily earns its spot within the world architecture map. The latest contemporary addition is a new photography hub on Montgomery Street, courtesy of local firm Ibañez Shaw Architecture. It sits just a stone’s throw from the museum district and across the street from The Museum of Science and History by Legoretta +Legoretta.
Split into two wings that are set on different levels, the structure is a concrete complex comprising photography classrooms, studios, and a retail area. The strong geometry and clean lines are reflected in all areas of the building – with a distinctive pattern of round perforations adorning parts of the facade, and referencing, explain the architects, the ‘graphic proportionality of seven standard apertures that restrict how much light is allowed to enter the camera’. Extra care was taken when these were designed, so that openings are conically flared to ‘increase the visual transparency and graphic presentation’, continues the team.
The concrete building’s protruding yellow box hosts a play area for children.
The structure’s strong character continues inside, with the retail area featuring glass shelving, so as not to detract from the overall concrete feel. A spectrum of cameras is spread across the shelves, becoming a key ornamental focus for the room.
Still, the complex maintains a healthy level of playfulness. A yellow box unexpectedly protrudes from the concrete volume, containing the hub’s children’s area; while a umbrella-shaped photo-studio light illuminates the conference room near the upper level entry. Reflectors are used above the cashiers in the retail space, bouncing daylight and illuminating the interior in a true photographic fashion. §