Dominique de Menil instructed Piano to make an art museum that would appear "small on the outside but...as big as possible inside". Painted in "Menil Gray", the unimposing 100,000 square foot museum extends the length of a football field. It blends harmoniously with the neighborhood's bungalow houses, painted in the same gray and now part of the Menil campus. The bungalows are used as offices, studios and a bookstore.
Heizer's Charmstone hangs at the museum's north entrance. Below the sculpture is a plaque inscribed with names of private donors.