While the Kimbell Museum, designed by Louis Kahn in Fort Worth Texas, is undergoing an expansion by Renzo Piano, it was thought to be an appropriate moment for outreach. Increasing the Kimbell's visibility and associating the museum with more than just the onsite collection were the goals of the Dallas Forth Worth International Airport kiosk.
Travelers waiting for flights or connections could relax in a calm virtual art-filled environment within the busy airport. The kiosk, occupying a retail space, would be a seating area enclosed with a large scrim used for projection. As the entire museum's collection has been digitized, the images of the full artworks and details as well would be projected by a series of projectors, moving around the translucent screen with descriptions and other meaningful text.
The images themselves could be randomly displayed or could be based on the search that visitors were doing as they waited in the kiosk. Named Kimbell Departures, the kiosk would include a small retail case under glass, and computers at the seating allowing visitors to browse the collection archive.
The design is based on the geometry of the museum, a set of vaulted spaces with a strong classical sense of weight and purity. Kahn was famous for his reliance on simple and pure geometry related to the structural integrity of buildings. A small fountain at the Kimbell, composed of cylinders and squares, was an inspiration for the kiosk.
We all need an escape while waiting in an airport. Some use the airline lounges, some retreat to a bar or restaurant, but for the rest of us an interesting but contemplative space would make the inevitable waiting just a bit more tolerable.