McKinney York Architects

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Willie Nelson: Texas Icon

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The Briscoe Center for American History sought to raise their public profile with a display and exhibition space for their recently-donated collection of Willie Nelson’s personal effects.  The installation’s site within DKR Texas Memorial Stadium created the potential for high visibility, but also for being swallowed up by the cavernous space.  The weighty canopy structure was employed to simultaneously command the space and carve out a small portion, allowing patrons to engage at an intimate scale with small memorabilia from a man who is larger than life.  The canopy’s form and material palette epitomize the honest, unpretentious character of Willie himself.  A rugged steel shell supports a pecan-lined interior comprised of plain-, quarter-, and rift-sawn boards left unstained to show the nuances in the grain.  The structure’s straightforward, humble materials resolve in thoughtful, refined details to produce a distinctive space befitting the singular persona whose life and career it displays.

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