Chicago Art Institute – The Modern Wing | Renzo Piano Building Workshop

• May 30, 2009

chicago art institutee28093the modern wing renzo piano plusmood aerial longview 533x800 Chicago Art Institute   The Modern Wing | Renzo Piano Building Workshop
© The Art Institute of Chicago, Ph. Campbell

chicago art institutee28093the modern wing renzo piano plusmood02 550x290 Chicago Art Institute   The Modern Wing | Renzo Piano Building Workshop
© Renzo Piano Building Workshop – Ph. Charles G. Young, Interactive design architects

chicago art institute the modern wing renzo piano plusmood03 2 530x800 Chicago Art Institute   The Modern Wing | Renzo Piano Building Workshop
© Renzo Piano Building Workshop – Ph. Charles G. Young, Interactive design architects

The Modern Wing at Art Institute of Chicago, designed by Renzo Piano, a world renowned Italian architect and recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. With the opening of new Modern Wing, the Chicago Art Institute obtains 30% more exhibition space and becomes the United States’ second largest museum. Transparency and lightness are the key features for the new expansion.

+ Architect’s statement provided by Renzo Piano Building Workshop

The new Modern Wing is being built between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive, at the northeast corner of the block the Art Institute of Chicago currently occupies. The addition will complete the cultural, urban campus of the museum. The new street-level entrance on Monroe Street will connect Millennium Park to the heart of the existing museum through the new Griffin Court. On the first floor, this daylit court will be flanked by new educational facilities, public amenities, galleries, and a garden, all of which will better actively link the Art Institute with urban life. The second and third floors will be dedicated to art and the viewing of art. The third floor will be completely lit by natural light. Below street level will be mechanical systems, art storage, and support facilities for the entire Art Institute.

chicago art institute the modern wing renzo piano plusmood sketch 550x388 Chicago Art Institute   The Modern Wing | Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Conceptual Sketch © Renzo Piano Building Workshop


Flying above the art pavilion will be a shelter that filters the sun to create the natural shaded light conditions ideal for the enjoyment of art. This shelter is a kind of flying carpet made of aluminum leaves that perform the same job as the tree canopies all around in the park. It is a “soft machine” that sensitively levitates above the new wing, vibrantly screening the light.

All this is made easier in a city that is built on precise north-south and east-west axes, perfectly in tune with the cycle of the sun, like a solar machine. The Modern Wing shelter will give the museum what it needs in terms of light, much as the open lattice of the Pritzker Pavilion gives shelter to the Great Lawn in terms of sound.

Limestone, a material used in the construction of the entire museum from its original Beaux Arts palace to recent additions, rises from the ground like a topographic relief, massive and solid, as though it has always been there. Above this topos, the building stands light, transparent, and permeable in steel and glass, in the great tradition of Chicago buildings: solid and robust yet at the same time light and crisp.

The Nichols Bridgeway goes from the heart of Millennium Park to the public terrace of the Modern Wing, crossing high above Monroe Street like a fine blade. The sharp metal reminds us of the bold structures characteristic of Chicago. The bridge does what all bridges do: it connects two different worlds and makes it possible to share experiences, providing beautiful views for people walking up towards the sunlight or down in front of the unique Chicago skyline.

chicago art institute the modern wing renzo piano plusmood16 Chicago Art Institute   The Modern Wing | Renzo Piano Building Workshop
© Renzo Piano Building Workshop – Ph. Charles G. Young, Interactive design architects

chicago art institute the modern wing renzo piano plusmood06 531x800 Chicago Art Institute   The Modern Wing | Renzo Piano Building Workshop
© Renzo Piano Building Workshop – Ph. Nic Lehoux

chicago art institute the modern wing renzo piano plusmood09 550x367 Chicago Art Institute   The Modern Wing | Renzo Piano Building Workshop
© Renzo Piano Building Workshop – Ph. Nic Lehoux

chicago art institute the modern wing renzo piano plusmood03 550x366 Chicago Art Institute   The Modern Wing | Renzo Piano Building Workshop
© Renzo Piano Building Workshop – Ph. Nic Lehoux

chicago art institute the modern wing renzo piano plusmood model 550x549 Chicago Art Institute   The Modern Wing | Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Site Plan (Model Photo) © Renzo Piano Building Workshop

chicago art institute the modern wing renzo piano plusmood plan 550x546 Chicago Art Institute   The Modern Wing | Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Full Plan of Chicago Art Institute © Renzo Piano Building Workshop

chicago art institute the modern wing renzo piano plusmood ele 550x143 Chicago Art Institute   The Modern Wing | Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Side elevation © Renzo Piano Building Workshop

chicago art institute the modern wing renzo piano plusmood ele 2 550x238 Chicago Art Institute   The Modern Wing | Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Front Elevation © Renzo Piano Building Workshop

chicago art institute the modern wing renzo piano plusmood section 550x361 Chicago Art Institute   The Modern Wing | Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Section © Renzo Piano Building Workshop

chicago art institute the modern wing renzo piano plusmood detail 550x550 Chicago Art Institute   The Modern Wing | Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Roof Detail © Renzo Piano Building Workshop

+ Project credits / data

Project: Chicago Art Institute – The Modern Wing
Location: Chicago, USA
Chronology: 2000-2009
Client: The Art Institute of Chicago
Design architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Local architect: Interactive Design Inc.

Design Team:

J. Moolhuijzen (partner in charge), D.Rat, C.Maxwell-Mahon with A.Belvedere, D.Colas, P.Colonna, O.Foucher, A.Gallissian, S.Giorgio-Marrano, H.Lee, W.Matthews, T.Mikdashi, J.B.Mothes, Y.Pagès, B.Payson, M.Reale, J.Rousseau, A.Stern, A.Vachette, C.von Däniken and K.Doerr, M.Gomes, J.Nakagawa; Y.Kyrkos, C.Colson, O.Aubert (models)

Consultants:

Structure: Ove Arup & Partners
Services: Ove Arup & Partners + Sebesta Blomberg
Civil engineering: Patrick Engineering
Structure for bridge: Wiss, Janey, Elstner Associates Inc. (interface with Millenium Park)
A/V consultant: The Talaske Group
Landscaping: Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd.
Cost consultant: Morgan Construction Consultants
LEED consultant: Carter Burgess

+ All drawings and images courtesy Renzo Piano Building Workshop | Photo by Ph. Campbell, Ph. James Iska, Ph. Charles G. Young, Ph. Dave Jordano & Ph. Nic Lehoux

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: Architecture, Culture, Selected

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. [...] Italian Architect Renzo Piano has already been acknowledged as a recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. One of his most famous early projects was the joint project he did with Richard Rogers, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris in 1977. Piano also gained a lot of attention for his extension at the Art Institute of Chicago the United States second largest museum. [...]