Page D1.1 . 05 August 2009                     
ArchitectureWeek - Design Department
< Prev Page Next Page >
  • Piano in Chicago
  • Seattle Lofts
  • Magic Blue Box

      Current Contents
      Blog Center
      Download Center
      New Products
      Products Guide
      Classic Home
      Architecture Forum
      Architects Directory
      Topics Library
      Complete Archive
      Web Directory
      About ArchWeek
      Subscribe & Contribute
      Free Newsletters


    [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Piano in Chicago

    by Michael J. Crosbie

    Renzo Piano is known for his finely tuned designs, especially for a refined talent in dovetailing elegant new architecture with an existing context, playing on contextual strengths without duplicating the neighbors.

    He has achieved this feat once again at the Art Institute of Chicago, where a light-studded new museum wing by Piano opened in May 2009. The Art Institute's new addition is laudable in its intelligent siting, sensitive scale, urban presence, and manipulation of light.

    One of the country's most august institutions, the Art Institute occupies an 1893 Beaux Arts building on Michigan Avenue just south of Chicago's new landmark Millennium Park. The Modern Wing, designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop in collaboration with Interactive Design, increases the size of the Art Institute by almost a third. At a bit over a million square feet (93,000 square meters), the Art Institute is now the second largest museum in the United States, after New York City's Metropolitan.

    The 264,000-square-foot (24,500-square-meter) addition is organized as a three-story boxlike container in the northeast corner of the site, accessed by a generous entry, just west of the box, into Griffin Court and a slender bar of spaces farther west. The court serves as a light-filled "living room" of sorts — a grand public space that says that you have arrived, and leads you deeper into the Art Institute's existing fabric, including the original 1893 building and later additions. The Art Institute wanted a second entry worthy of its formal, lion-bedecked facade on Michigan Avenue, and Piano has provided one — less stuffy, but every bit as serious.   >>>

    Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...


    ArchWeek Image

    The new Modern Wing, a major addition to the Art Institute of Chicago, was designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop with Interactive Design.
    Photo: Charles G. Young, Interactive Design Eight Architects (IDEA)/ Courtesy Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    The new wing stands in the northeastern corner of the Art Institute site, just south of the Lurie Garden and Frank Gehry's Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.
    Photo: Andrew Campbell Photography/ Courtesy AIC Extra Large Image


    Click on thumbnail images
    to view full-size pictures.

    < Prev Page Next Page > Send this to a friend       Subscribe       Contribute       Media Kit       Privacy       Comments
    ARCHWEEK  |  GREAT BUILDINGS  |  ARCHIPLANET  |  DISCUSSION  |  BOOKS  |  FREE 3D  |  SEARCH © 2009 Artifice, Inc. - All Rights Reserved