Tyler Museum of Art

The Tyler Museum of Art in East Texas is a private museum encouraging art education in the community. When the museum purchased a 13.5 acre site of densely forested land, the board invited WHY to design a new landmark building closely integrated with the surrounding environment. Rather than distributing the program across one horizontal layer, the proposed structure maintains a small footprint by stacking interconnected spaces around a central atrium. This design strategy minimizes the impact upon the site, while establishing multiple visual and physical connections both internally and externally. Visitors can engage in intimate art experiences while also enjoying 360-degree views as they ascend from the creek-level community classrooms up to the lobby, the theater, the library, the galleries, and the event space at the top of the building. A variety of spaces – including those between the stacked volumes – are organized to allow for flexibility in future programming. The museum’s strong educational program was a primary consideration throughout. The gently sloping site and vertical scheme allow the classrooms and other educational components to have direct access to the outdoors, while a separate level is designed for public access.

Key info
Design Architect
Executed by WHY Architecture Workshop Inc.
Tyler, TX
  • Commenced 2017
  • 42,000 sq. ft.
Design Architect

The Tyler Museum of Art’s strong educational program dovetails nicely with the gently sloping site and vertical scheme, enabling classrooms and other educational components to have direct access to the outdoors while maintaining a separate level on-grade for public access.

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