Life Imitating Art: Former Kimbell Staffer Modeled San Antonio Home After Museum

Former Kimbell Art Musuem staffer Emily Sano and architect Gilson Riecken built an homage to the Fort Worth art museum in Alamo Heights. (Photo: Wall Street Journal)

Maybe it’s just because I haven’t worked in any truly beautiful structures, but I would never model my home after a former workplace. Who wants to go home and be reminded of work?

Emily Sano did.

After working at Fort Worth’s Kimbell Art Museum for about 10 years, Sano accepted a position at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. Still, she remained heartsick for the place where she spent many a day admiring the light and flow of the Louis Khan-designed museum, says this piece from the Wall Street Journal.

So Sano and her partner, architect Gilson Riecken, bought the Alamo Heights lot from heiress Nancy Hamon, tore down five buildings and built an homage to the Kimbell.

The home, designed by Lake Flato Architects (Dallas Arboretum, Bluffview modern home, and a gazillion other stunning projects)  is freaking amazing. Besides being LEED Platinum certified, it is pretty much the perfect place to hang and admire art, which is a good thing considering Sano’s collection of Asian art and artifacts.

I am sure the couple has a window washer on speed dial, because holy cannoli this four-bedroom, 4,600 2,260-square-foot home is like half floor-to-ceiling windows.

I’ve gotta know: What museum would you model your fantasy home after?

8 Comment

  • I'm split: I love the Kimball and also the Modern Museum of Fort Worth, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Art Institute of Chicago. Perhaps it is memories of going there as a child with family, classes, glamouras art events — to me it just oozes culture and class and style. But you know me, one home is not enough. So I'll take three, and model one home after each!

  • mm

    I'm split: I love the Kimball and also the Modern Museum of Fort Worth, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Art Institute of Chicago. Perhaps it is memories of going there as a child with family, classes, glamouras art events — to me it just oozes culture and class and style. But you know me, one home is not enough. So I'll take three, and model one home after each!

  • Hi Joanna,
    Thanks for the write-up. I wanted to make a correction on the sq footage of the project. It is a 2260 sq ft home and not a 4,600 sq ft home. Thank you.

  • Hi Joanna,
    Thanks for the write-up. I wanted to make a correction on the sq footage of the project. It is a 2260 sq ft home and not a 4,600 sq ft home. Thank you.

  • Even better! Robert, do you think 2000- to 3000 square feet is perfect for a second home?

  • mm

    Even better! Robert, do you think 2000- to 3000 square feet is perfect for a second home?

  • Unbelievable architecture! Timeless.

  • Unbelievable architecture! Timeless.